The Convention Peoples Party (CPP) on Saturday marked the 61st anniversary of the declaration of Positive Action, with attacks on the policies of both the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) and main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP).
The CPP said the NPP failed at the onset of the discovery of Oil and Gas to manage the expectations and “even fanned the fire by implying that now we have found oil and gas all our problems and challenges will be sorted.
“The NDC under President John Evans Atta Mills failed to take the bold initiative to stop the oil exploration until the passage of the Oil Management Bill,” Mr Kwame Jantuah, CPP Shadow Cabinet Member for Energy, stated at a press conference in Accra.
The party noted that: “Osagyfo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first President, developed this country in nine years not on an adhoc basis but by carefully thinking through the country’s development agenda by presenting three development plans to the country.
“These development plans of the first CPP government were followed religiously, hence the kind of development we had at the time of his overthrow, which has been systematically run down and sold off by both the PNDC, NDC and NPP governments over the last 30 years”.
The press conference, the 12 in a series, was to state the party’s position on the Energy sector. The party noted: “we fully empathize with the Chiefs and people of the Western Region in their quest to seek redress for the lack of development due the Region over the years.
“It is quite legitimate for any region in Ghana to put the ruling government on its toes regarding development in line with the social contract.
“We believe in the CPP that the demand of the chiefs and people of Western Region should be a wake up call to government not to take the development of our country for granted.
“We suggest that government immediately start identifying the potential of every region and how we craft these potentials into a National Development Plan that will have the participation of all the stakeholders in this country, including all Political Parties so that when there is a change of government the Plan is not abandoned for some Party Plan but is followed to its logical conclusion,” Mr Jantuah stated.
The CPP noted that it was now incumbent on government to make sure that the local content policy should be drawn to benefit Ghanaians by building credible capacity in the country’s human resource base, capacity that will allow Ghanaians to participate not as agents but real partners in the Oil & Gas industry.
“We suggest that 5 per cent of our oil revenue for the next 10 years should be set aside to help build capacity in our human resource base to enable us to be viable partners in this industry, and this participation must have the sole objective of creating value and contributing to the economic and social development of the country.
“We in the CPP believe that to make local content viable and beneficial to Ghanaians the local content policy should take into consideration the income received by Ghanaians for their labour which can be termed as jobs and services used in and for the industry.
“Revenues accrued by owners of land and resources, termed as goods/supplies, and Income streams to Ghanaian shareholders and creditors termed participation by ownership”.
Mr Jantuah said a CPP led government will dedicate a portion of the nation’s oil and gas belt to Ghanaians alone, as this will encourage Ghanaian expertise in the industry scattered all over the World to relocate home to take advantage of such an opportunity.
“We will also drive and challenge our universities to offer courses that will educate our youth and human resource base to study and be true partners in the industry.
“Most importantly, the income and revenue from such a scheme will largely be kept in Ghana which will build the capacity of our banks and further reduce capital flight, making it affordable for our banks to partner in huge infrastructural projects. We challenge the government to take on this proposal,” he said.