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04.12.2008 International

Oil expert warns: OPEC can`t halt decline in oil prices… But promises to generate GH¢4b in 4yrs to fight malaria

By Emmanuel Akli, Ag. Editor - Ghanaian Chronicle
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The independent presidential candidate, Mr. Amoafo Yeboah, has stated that the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) cannot halt the rapid decline of the world market prices of crude oil, by cutting back production.

He said not all oil-producing countries were members of OPEC, and that such a decision would definitely be defeated. Speaking in an interview with The Chronicle in Accra yesterday, Amoafo, who holds a degree in petrol-chemical engineering, said most oil producing countries had linked their revenue to oil, therefore should OPEC decide to cut back production, non-members would step in to increase production.

This, he noted, would lead to the continued decline of the crude oil prices.

Amoafo noted that Ghana must pray hard that the global recession, especially in America and Europe, comes to an end soon, to boost the demand for oil, otherwise the oil that she had put all her faith in, would not help in generating the needed resources to tackle development.

The independent candidate also told this reporter that when voted into office, as president of Ghana, he would intensify the fight against the eradication of malaria in the country.

According to him, he would tackle this by setting aside half a percentage of all property rates, which value would not exceed GH¢25,000 a year.

He projected to raise GH¢500 million in a year, multiplying to GH¢4 billion in four years, and GH¢8 billion in eight years.

He said he decided to set the threshold of the property rate at GH¢25, 000, just to avoid burdening those in the lower ranks of income.

He said part of the revenue to be generated from the property rates, would be used to cover all drains, beginning from the urban areas, to avoid the spread of the malaria disease.

He said apart from the employment this would create, it would also help to reduce the spread the disease among the labour force, thus boosting productivity.

Reduction in malaria cases, would also lead to the reduction in importation of malaria-related drugs.

Amoafo Yeboah also hinted that part of the GH¢4 billion revenue, to be generated from the property rates, would also be used to guarantee tax credit for investors who would want to invest in the country, but entertain the fear that they might lose their investment. He noted that since over 70% of jobs were created in the country by the small and large scale enterprises, this incentive would help to create more jobs, thus putting money in people's pockets, which the government can then plough back to tackle other sectors of the economy.

The government would also generate enough revenue to expand the coverage of drugs under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

He noted that currently, the donor countries support 40% of our budget, and with the recession going in the advanced countries, Ghana would find itself in a serious corner if she did not come out with new ways to generate revenue for the country. He was hopeful that his ideas would help move Ghana forward, in terms of revenue needed for the development of the country.

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