"If the oil is not going to benefit Ghanaians then it must stay under the ground," Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom, Presidential Candidate of the Convention People's Party (CPP) said at the first Election 2008 Presidential Debate.
He said, "CPP led government will ensure that revenue generated from the oil industry benefits Ghanaians, especially communities who will be affected by the oil exploitation in the Western Region".
Citing experiences in the solid mineral sector, where most communities in which the mines were allocated did not benefit from the gold, diamond and manganese deposits, Dr Nduom said the oil resources must be used for the benefit of the people.
The debates featured the four Presidential Candidates with representation in Parliament; New Patriotic Party (NPP); National Democratic Congress (NDC) and People's National Convention (PNC).
Dr Nduom said for the country to be saved from the experiences of what was happening in the Niger Delta of Nigeria, communities around such resources would be rebuilt.
The CPP Presidential Candidate said petrol chemical industries would be set up to provide the people in the community with employment and direct benefit from the resource.
He said a CPP led Government through Parliament would enact a law to prevent the Executive from taking decisions on how the oil revenue was used.
On security and crime he called for a proper identification system of properties and people to allow for easy tracking of criminals.
In addition the Attorney General's Office would be separated from the Ministry of Justice to ensure quick prosecution of criminal cases.
Dr Nduom also pledged to use the State's purchasing power to buy what was produced locally to boost demand and create market for people.
Commenting on the NPP Government slogan 'private sector as the engine of growth of the economy' Dr Nduom said an engine alone could not move so a CPP led Government would provide the engine with a body, fix tyres and provide a competent driver.
He said his administration would pursue local investment and not foreign direct investment, saying as President he would go round the country to find out what the needs of businesses were and provide for those needs.
Dr Nduom stressed the need for agricultural subsidies, saying they would help farmers and fishermen to produce sufficient food to bring about food security.
In all, there were eleven major questions, which focused on job creation, education, health, security, law and order, oil revenue, energy, women and children's rights, foreign direct investment, food security and intra-regional trade.
There were four rounds of four questions each. For the first two rounds each candidate had three minutes to answer a major questions and a minute for rebuttal, which was optional.
Two minutes was allotted for major questions in the third and fourth rounds and each was given an extra two minutes to make concluding remarks.