Stakeholders call for equal distribution of oil revenue

OilStakeholders at a forum held in Bolgatanga have called on the government to ensure that there was fair and equal regional distribution of the oil revenue.

The stakeholders, made up of civil society organisations, government departments, youth activists and opinion leaders, expressed regret that the three regions in the north received the least share of the oil revenue.

They cited for instance that in 2013 the Northern Region received three per cent, Upper East one per cent and Upper West 1.2 per cent and that over the last four years the three regions, in addition to the Central Region, had benefited of only nine per cent of the oil revenue whilst the well endowed regions benefited more.

Mr Bismark Adongo, President of the Northern Patriots in Research and Advocacy (NORPRA), said according to the Constitution, natural resources, wherever they were found, should be distributed equally to ensure balanced development.

He said per the Oil Management Law of 2011 the oil found in Ghana was expected to help ensure that there was even and equal development and stressed the need for Government to give much attention to the deprived northern regions in distributing the oil revenue.

Mr Adongo expressed regret that the agriculture sector did not receive budgets of the oil revenue and called for efficient tracking of such budgets in the near future.

He said there was the need to support farmer-based organisations and the Peasant Farmers Association to monitor the use of the oil money and called for a Fiscal Responsibility Law to commit government to honour budgets to the agriculture sector.

Dr Amin Anta Mohammed, the Executive Director of the Africa Centre for Energy Policy, called on the stakeholders to help monitor and ensure monies meant for projects were used judiciously to ensure value for money.

He impressed upon the stakeholders to use the media to do more advocacy programmes to inform policy makers and the government to pay more attention to the three northern regions.

The forum, organised by the Africa Centre for Energy Policy and NORPRA, was to afford the Africa Centre for Energy Policy account to the stakeholders about an advocacy programme it carried out last year on the topic  “Oil for Agric Campaign”.

Source: GNA

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