Good Policies Can Make Ghanaians Benefit From Oil, Says Bishop
The Bishop of the Obuasi Diocese of the Methodist Church, the Rt Rev Benjamin K. Asare, said gold mining at Obuasi had been the engine of growth and beauty for some countries but Obuasi itself lacked basic social amenities.
He chastised government officials who sign mining agreements without taking cognisance of mining companies' commitment to the development of the area.'I am really appalled by government officials who sign mining agreements and neglect the development of the area. They also can be accused of causing financial loss to the state,' he said at the 11th annual synod of the diocese at Obuasi.
The bishop spoke about oil discovery in the Western Region and spoke against bad policies that would make Ghanaians poorer in the face of the discovery of oil in commercial quantities. 'Our benefit from the oil will depend upon good policies and laws by the government to protect our interest and the future,' he said.
He drew attention to Nigeria where many Nigerians were still poor and lived in squalor despite the oil boom. 'Nigeria is rich in oil but many are still poor and live in squalor. Of late, some have taken the law into their own hands to protect their interest,' he said.
The Methodist Bishop said it could happen that 'our oil would be in the hands of a few rich countries as it had happened with the Obuasi goldmine.' Touching on politics, Bishop Asare said church members should pray enough for the Lord to choose His own people when the nation goes to the polls in December.
Nana Baffour Kyei 11, Gyaasehene of Fomena who represented the Acting Adansihene, took a swipe at Christians who take delight in cursing their friends at the least provocation.