The Western Regional Co-ordinating Council (RCC), last Wednesday organised a one-day consultation on the preparation of oil and gas policy document for the country, at Takoradi. The event was attended by district chief executives, traditional rulers, business executives and a cross-section of the public.
Mr Kwesi Blay, deputy Regional Minister, said government had found it necessary to involve all stakeholders in a discussion of oil and gas sector issues and to chart the way forward. He said government was aware of concerns raised by the chiefs of areas where oil discoveries were made.
Mr Blay said an opportunity was being offered to a cross-section of people in the region to offer their views towards the development of the policy document that could best serve the interest of the region and the nation at large. He said, 'As community leaders, we should maximise the full benefits of any land sales to prospective investors. This we can do by using our land as equity or involving the respective District Assembly in any transaction thereof.
Mr Blay said the RCC had plans to collaborate with the chiefs and corporate bodies to create land banks at areas where oil has been found.
Mr Blay said 'The rate of development in the region has not been encouraging, we have poor road infrastructure, the percentage of potable water for our people falls below the national average.' He asked the people to ensure that they derived maximum benefit from oil discovery in the region.
Ms Ama Juntuah Banful of the office of the Attorney-General and a member of the Technical Committee on Oil and Gas, said the draft policy on oil and gas
focused on making operations of country's oil industry transparent and accountable and to safeguard the environment.
She said the policy examined how laws, contracts and regulatory institutions could be used to provide effective management of oil and gas exploration and production and maximise benefits for the country.
Participants suggested that the Takoradi Port should be expanded to enable it accommodate oil tankers and a petroleum stabilisation fund and oil services support companies should also be established.
Other speakers at the event included Mr Thomas Manu, Director of Operations of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation and Mr George Owusu, Country Director of Kosmos Energy.