The “BudgiT” Ghana, an NGO in the extractive sector, has engaged stakeholders to deliberate on 10 years of the oil find and resources utilization in the country.
The project titled: “Extractives Transparency and Accountability Project” brought together Queen mothers, businesswomen and men, Assembly members and officers as well as people from the extractive sector to inquire more about the utilization of the oil resources.
Since the discovery and commercial drilling started in 2010, the country had accrued over six billion dollars.
Though the government had initiated some projects from the accrued fund, participants at the forum hoped the government had invested more in social infrastructure and human development.
Ms. Francisca Ansah, the Regional Manager for the Ghana National Chamber for Commerce and Industry, called for more injection of capital in soft loans to SMEs to thrive.
The private sector is the engine of growth, and we need to be cushioned from the oil monies to serve the purpose of job creation and economic empowerment, she said.
Nana Ekua Kodua, the Paramount Queen-mother of Essikado, reminded the government of the need to invest some percentage in the Region where the oil was found as done in Saudia Arabia and other oil-producing countries.
“What do you see in Western.. even the Regional Hospital is not up to a teaching hospital, we have no children’s hospital…The whole of Western including Western North Regions not a single Children’s Hospital so that’s my reason for some percentage of the oil money should be used to develop the Western Region where the oil is produced”.
Ms Victoria Araba Dennis, the Executive Director of the African Women International, called for dedicated funding for women to venture into TVET to ensure their full participation in the sector.
Mr. Felix Ankrah, a member of the NGO, said, “the idea was to track the amount of money accrued… How much have we accrued as a nation, projects undertaken and whether they are satisfactory.”
He also hinted at the need for prudent financial management with selected target areas adhered to.
Mr Ankrah said the overall objective was to develop trust between the citizens and the government.