Ghanaian Financial Institutions have been advised to collaborate with world economic bodies to leverage local expertise who are capable of contributing meaningfully to the country’s oil and gas sector.
Mr Alhassan Andani, Managing Director of Stanbic Bank Ghana, who gave the advice on Tuesday emphasized that such middle-level integration was critical if the domestic financial services sector could develop the necessary “depth, skills, capacity and muscles” to participate in the oil and gas sector.
He was speaking at the 63rd Annual New Year School which was organized by the Institute of Continuing and Distance Education of the University of Ghana in Accra.
The on-going New Year School conference is on the theme: “One Year of Oil and Gas Production: Emerging Issues.”
Speaking on the topic: “The Role of Financial Services in an Oil and Gas Economy,” Mr Andani underscored the need for financial services to develop the required human capital to take economic advantage of ancillary services in the oil sector.
The services, he noted, included transport, port facilities, equipment repairs, medical facilities, security, waste disposal and hospitality services.
Mr Andani advised players in the financial services to build appropriate business models, establish international complementary networking as well as club domestic resources.
Professor Augustine Fosu, Deputy Director of United Nations University-World Institute for Development Economics Research, called for reallocation of the national budget toward most productive sectors of the economy.
He said agriculture needed to be supported to reduce poverty, facilitate access to agricultural inputs as well as creating access to market.
Speaking on the topic: “Promoting the Non-oil Sectors to Prevent the ‘Dutch Disease,’” Prof Fosu recommended the allocation of oil revenues to reduce fiscal and external deficits, to improve the physical and institutional infrastructure as well as complementing human capital.
He called on the Government to limit its direct investment but prioritise public investment over that of public human capital.
Prof Fosu noted that democratic institutions could help improve developmental governance to enable Ghana avoid the “Dutch Disease” or the resource curse.
He suggested that the Executive arm of government needed to be constrained and that it should wield authority in a balanced manner adding, this could be achieved by means of the constitution, efforts of civil societies, media monitoring and hard work of the citizenry.
Prof Fosu lauded what he called Advanced-level Democracy as a means of ultimately shielding the country from a probable oil and gas resource curse.
He explained that this type of democratic governance was not dominance of a single political party but that of a multi-party dispensation.