Keep working on millennium development goals – Prof. Omorogbe
An international consultant in energy and natural resources law, Professor Yinka Omorogbe has advised the government to keep working on achieving the millennium development goals in order to avoid the “oil curse” in the country.
She said the quotation of huge revenue figures from the oil and gas industry are not sufficient indicators of efforts being made to improve the standard of living of the people.
Prof Omorogbe said this when speaking at a three-day international conference on the theme: “the avoidance of the oil curse in Ghana” which was organized by the National Development Planning Commission in Koforidua at the weekend.
She called for the appointment of the most competent and qualified indigenous people to hold positions in the oil and gas industry and warned the country to be wary of charlatans posing as foreign consultants.
Prof Omorogbe said many of such so-called foreign consultants in the oil and gas industry in Africa have made billions of dollars and left behind disasters for the countries who engaged them.
She called for the engagement of the people in all aspects of the industry as stakeholders and be made to know the benefits that they could derive from the industry and given the avenue to express themselves.
Prof Omorogbe congratulated Ghana for the structure that it had put in place so far for the management of the oil and gas industry and appealed to the government to strictly abide by the laws in place.
Prof Ivan Adae-Mensah, former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana, called for the management of the expectations from the oil and gas industry especially in the Western Region.
He said the negative effects of the industry had started rearing its head in that region leading to the rising costs of living, rents, land and housing and if not well managed it could lead to disappointment and civil strives.
He called for more attention to be given to human settlements and the fishing industry in the Western Region.
Dr Kwesi Aning of the Kofi Annan International Peace-Keeping Centre, called on the government to provide more equipment for the security services to enable them ward off any security threat to the oil and gas industry in the country.
He said the current logistics available to the security was inadequate and pleaded with politicians and Members of Parliament to see the provision of equipment to the security service as a national responsibility that need urgent and serious attention.
Dr Aning said records of pirating in the Gulf of Guinea is not encouraging and this year alone, 14 cases had been recorded between the Republic of Benin and the Niger Delta and called for the urgent disbursement of appropriate equipment to the security services to enable them confront any challenge either at sea or in the Western Region.
Prof Daniel Mireku-Gyimah, Vice Chancellor of the University of Mines and Technology, called for the early passage of the Local Content and Participation Bill to avoid future challenges.
He said it would be difficult for the oil and gas companies to abrogate the contracts they have given to foreign companies after the passage of the bill if they are required to offer those contracts to Ghanaians.