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19.07.2008 Editorial

Good advice, Amoah

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Just recently, we expressed concern about the way the youth in Nzemaland were demanding ownership to the location of the oil find. We also expressed worry about a decision by the three Members of Parliament in the area, Messrs. Freddie Blay, Kojo Armah and Lee Ocran to also join the fray. We made it clear that if the agitation was not nipped in the bud as early as possible, it could lead to an unfortunate situation, similar to what is being experienced in the Niger Delta in Nigeria.

The Chronicle therefore welcomes advice by the Western Regional Minister, Hon. Anthony Evans Amoah, who has also seen the lurking danger that the agitation could create if it continues. Speaking at a news conference in Sekondi, on Wednesday this week, Amoah appealed to his people not to dispute the location of the oil. “We should rather be thankful to God that the oil has been found in our region”, he was quoted as saying.

The Regional Minister also advised his people to be concerned about how they can get their children to study Petroleum related courses which would be beneficial to them in future, instead of disputing over the location of the oil. We at The Chronicle think the Minister has given a fatherly advice that must be embraced by the people.

Despite sitting on mineral wealth, most Residents in the mining areas of the country are still impoverished because they do not have the requisite certificates to get employment at the mines. Experts are brought from outside to work in the mines, who end up repatriating their incomes to where they come from. This capital flight has affected the local economy where these mining activities are taking place resulting in the abject poverty the people have found themselves in.

As Ghana is trying to learn from the Nigerian experience in the Delta region, so should the people of Nzema and Ahanta also learn from these experiences.

They should not just dissipate their meagre resources fighting over the location of the oil, whilst others educate their children to come and take over the job avenues in the oil industry. In that way they would have themselves to blame. Giving the youth the right education to get employment in the oil companies would help the local economy better than just counting on royalties that would be paid to the chiefs.

The Western Regional House of Chiefs can boast of well-educated chiefs and we hope they will take the advice that has been given by their Regional Minister to their various communities, to sensitise the people to take up the challenge of educating their children to take advantage of the expected oil boom.

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