KWABENA OKYERE Darko-Mensah, MP for Takoradi, has thrown a challenge to oil and gas companies preparing to partake in Ghana's commercial oil production to establish their corporate headquarters in Takoradi, to facilitate operations.
He said this was appropriate since the region would be hosting operations of the emerging oil and gas industry.
Speaking at the inauguration of the Agricultural Development Bank's (ADB) Harbour branch recently at Takoradi, he urged banks and the private sector in Sekondi-Takoradi including the GNPC to put their weight behind the advocacy to make it a reality.
'This growing phenomenon of establishing corporate headquarters of oil and gas industries in Accra is an affront to the dignity of Sekondi-Takoradi since the Western region has whatever it takes to host them'.
This, he added, would ensure the business competitiveness of the region and others in Ghana while also enhancing the responsiveness of government.
'It is for this reason and several others that my colleagues in Parliament are making two amendments to the oil and gas exploration and production bill as well as the oil and gas revenue management bill.
'These seek to direct oil and gas companies to site the corporate and operation headquarters in oil and gas region/communities and seek to set up a Western Regional Development Fund.'
He called for support from people in other regions of Ghana, to support these amendments which are in the interest of all, to economically decentralize Ghana and support its bid to do business.
He urged ADB to bridge the gulf between savings and lending rates and make the cost of borrowing affordable to the masses and small and medium-scale businesses.
'In a world dominated by capitalism and fuelled by China, Ghana demands a strong and empowered private sector'.
He therefore called on businesses within Ghana's oil and gas industry to position themselves as true development partners for equitable development of the country.
By Awudu Mahama