Government is not considering oil as magic wand for Ghana – Veep

Vice President John Mahama

Vice President John Dramani Mahama on Tuesday said the government does not consider the discovery of oil and gas as a magic wand of the country’s economy.

“Instead, we see the oil and gas discovery as the catalyst that will attract economic investment and provide jobs for Ghanaian artisans.”

Vice President Mahama said this during the second Graphic Communications Group Limited Business Roundtable in Accra.

The Forum organized by Graphic Communications Group Limited and supported by other corporate organizations under the theme; Ghana’s Emerging Oil Economy: Prospects and Challenges is aimed at promoting vibrant policy discourse in Ghana.

Vice President Mahama said although the oil and gas sector was expected to generate about 1.6 billion barrels of crude oil in the coming years, the government would continue to invest in the traditional areas such as agriculture, timber and mining which had over the years engaged over 60 percent of the population.

He said the oil and gas sector was expected to employ many Ghanaian artisans under the local content law when passed into law and urged all stakeholders to adhere strictly to their roles and responsibilities towards the achievement of their goals.

The Vice President said Ghana under the transparency and accountability signed to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and would by December join the league of oil producing countries to fully participate and make inputs in all international conferences and forums on oil and gas.

Vice President Mahama said the government had also engaged people to learn from countries that had made good use of their oil resources and from others that had suffered setbacks to ensure that Ghana avoided the extremes and excesses in oil production.

“The Dutch disease and the Gulf of Mexico examples are issues we will not like to experience in this country as it could serve as a disaster to our oil discovery and production in the years to come.”

Mr. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, the Managing Director of Graphic Communications Group, said the roundtable forum was not only aiming at domestic business but was also geared towards the realization of international business goals.

He said the forum this time round decided on oil and gas because of the anxiety that the discovery had generated and would continue to generate among the Ghanaian media and Business entities.

“There are a lot of security and environmental concerns associated with the oil and gas discovery and we believe that this forum would seek to improve on policies that could bring sanity into the industry,” he said.

There were other solidarity messages from Vodafone, Merchant Bank, Coral Paints, GOIL Ghana Limited and SIC Ghana Limited.

Source: GNA

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