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Thursday, July 7, 2022

The Oil Revenue

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It is great news that Ghana has been blessed with oil and it is a joy that it was found in the Western Region. The region that has vast area of natural forest for timber, the

region that produces the largest cocoa for Ghana, the region that has bauxite, the region that has gold, the region with a whole year rainfall. What is it that Western Region doesn’t have?

In terms of infrastructural development the Western Region is probably the last in Ghana.

I am privileged to know all the ten regional capitals and some major towns and villages in this country but I believe I know the Western Region more than any other region in this country, even my own home region, Upper East. I started school in the Western region in the very early nineties and up to now things have never changed significantly in the western region. One does not understand why a region with all these natural and human resources, Osagyefo, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s own region has not been developed fully? Whose fault is it? The past central governments, the regional ministers, the district chief executives, the members of parliament, the local interested individuals and groups have all contributed to the Western Region’s current state. It maybe incomprehensible to know what the root cause is. I believe the political, socio-economical analysts know the causes.

Thank God, the time has come for the western region to experience unimaginable development and be adored. The western region should this time be extraordinarily developed. The past governments except (Nkrumah) have all been celebrating mediocrity and we do not want that in the development of the western region this time round.

Now that the oil has also been found in the same region I want to believe that after ten years, a decade the Western region will never be the same. The people in the Western Region should be the greatest beneficiaries of the oil revenue. They have been deprived of good potable drinking water, good education, good basic healthcare, good road infrastructure, good storage facilities for their farm produce, good price for the farm produce, good electricity and many others for far too long.

The oil revenue should be used for:
MEDICAL TOURISM- (No mediocrity here)

Modern medical facilities should be built in the Western region. Hospitals should be built so that they can be compared to those in South Africa, Europe, Asia, and the U.S.A. where our politicians and business moguls have been going to seek for medical treatment even when they get ‘headache’.

The hospitals and other medical facilities should be used for the health needs of all the workers of the various oil and gas companies to be in the region.

The medical professionals and staff to be working in these hospitals and medical facilities should be professionals who have acquired great exceptional skills, being Ghanaians first before foreigners, if Ghanaians do not have the expertise and refuse to acquire them, then they should be sidelined. No nepotism, no cronyism, no gender favouritism here, professionals and nothing else. Health matters are about lives and no experiments should be entertained.

The services would be provided to all Ghanaians and foreigners, but in categories or classes, hence the need for sought-after medical professionals and I know many Ghanaian medical professionals would perform creditably provided they are paid well.

Money accrued from the medical tourism could be used for the running of the hospitals and with time they will be autonomous and begin to fly without assistance, then the oil revenue could be rechanneled to another area too.

ROAD INSFRASTRUCTURE

Those who know the Western Region very well would bear with me that the road network there is very bad, the Accra Takoradi road should be made a motor way and there is no better time to build this road as such than now. Yes, it will cost some great money today but the future economic benefits out outweigh the present cost of constructing an Accra-Takoradi motorway. The current Accra Cape Coast, Takoradi road is too narrow and has become a dead trap, killing strong Ghanaian workforce, and depriving the country of its strong, intelligent, diligent and honest human resource.

First class roads should be built around the Western Region beginning from where the oil is found, Sekondi-Takoradi, the Nzima land, Fanti and Ahanta land, the Wasa land, the Sefwi land, the Brusa land and all other parts of the region.

A permanent, good road network would harness the great potential of the Western Region and greatly lessen the hardships of the people in that region, who have contributed heavily to the development of this country, so that they can move freely to do trading and attend to other pressing issues.

MODERN RAIL LINE SYSTEM

This is a country where the major means of transportation is by land amidst deadly road accidents. A modern rail line should be built connecting the West, North and East and south of Ghana to augment land transportation and to ease the heavy load on road transportation. A modern rail line would bring:

  • Relief to the road being overused
  • Competition in the transportation industry and the final consumer could make a choice and save some money for other needs
  • The transportation of goods in bulk more than by land, foodstuff and other perishable farm produce would not rot at the farms
  • Transportation of crude oil and other valuable goods between the north and south would be made easier

POTABLE DRINKING WATER

Even in Accra, we do not have clean water to drink, what a disgrace that after fifty years of independence, the capital city of a sovereign nation, Ghana, has no clean water for its residents. All past governments (except Nkrumah) should bow down their heads in shame. Why? What is the population of Accra? What is the population of London and other cosmopolitans? Yet, they have water in abundance. Ei, Ghana!

Clean potable drinking water for all communities in this country would:

  • Enhance and elongate the life span of the Ghanaian human resource, the most valuable resource, even for God. Remember, we are like Him. ‘Where there is water, there is life’
  • Ease the financial hardships on the Ghanaian, who has to spend so much for water year after year. When would things get better?
  • Enable schoolchildren to go to school early and be able to concentrate, instead of waking up at dawn to search for some water that is not even clean and hygienic.
  • Reduce water-born diseases and other related diseases, lives would be saved and harnessed
  • Reduce government spending on importation and manufacturing of medicine to treat the citizens suffering from water-born diseases
  • Ease the hospitals and all health centres of overcrowding and give the medical professionals some time to rest and get rejuvenated

EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION FOR EXCEPTIONAL STUDENTS

Each year students come out of the various tertiary institutions, some with genuine honours, overall best students, first class students, and all that one hears about them is that these exceptional students are left to their fate to fend for themselves in a country where, there is discrimination in employment and giving opportunities to people we know rather than people who are better to do the work.

The government should build a wonderful, exceptional, inviting and motivating and an unimaginable state-of- the-art institution of higher learning in any of the regions where by all students who get first class honours in any discipline would be examined and if passed, admitted to be supported and trained professionally to maximize their talents and brilliance for the development of mother, Ghana. One compulsory requirement would be entrance exams for all applicants because some might have fake first class honours; they would be separated from the genuine ones, who would be admitted into this institution for say two or three years and after completion be assigned some responsibilities in their respective fields. Once, one enters this institution, one is assured of an opportunity of one’s choice, since not every student wants to be an employee. Wow, I believe, more excellence would be exhibited and Ghana would get the best professional Accountants, Doctors, Lawyers, Engineers, Journalists, Surveyors, Politicians, Marketers, Communication Experts, etc who would be at the helm of affairs to spearhead and direct this nation in their knowledgeable fields.

This institution would bring:

    Pool of best brains assembled and ready to work together for a common good

  • A fine platform for the government to choose best young experts to work for it in various fields, take, for instance, the government of Ghana tax agencies, how many Chartered Accountants, do they have? If the chartered accountants are working for private entities, yes, of course, they would work diligently for their employers to pay less tax by applying intelligent avoidable tax planning mechanisms. They would always outwit the government agencies which have little or no experts at all to counteract them. Eventually, who loses?
  • Competition in learning among the youth, if they know that they have to get genuine first class honours to lessen their hustling and struggling to look for non-existent jobs they would learn hard and well without cheating, because if they cheat they would be caught when they apply into this institution, which would be of noble credibility
  • Create revenue for the government, because, these students could be hired by some organizations at a higher fee and the government would get the lion’s share
  • Institute awards and rewards, especially financial rewards for universities and polytechnics that produce the larger number of best students

All universities and polytechnics would be made to compile the list of first class honours candidates and pass the list to the institution where the candidates would be screened, examined and admitted.

The brilliant students have been neglected in this country for far too long, their exceptional talents and brains should be harnessed for better use. They should not be left to their own fate after the university or polytechnic.

INTERNET NETWORK FOR GHANA

The use of the internet in all homes in Ghana should be considered as part of a public utility that all houses in the urban areas should have access to the internet by 2025. Every government knows the importance of the internet; hence, its use should be encouraged by making it available through government or not government agencies to encourage its use. Mass internet connection of homes in this country cannot be carried out by private companies, the government should do it and when it finishes, it can sell a significant part to a private entity to run it. Let’s move faster as a nation and let’s make Ghana a small decent village to live in. Ghana cannot catch the rest of the world if it does utilize the internet technology fully. The benefits for internet use abound and need no elaboration.
The oil revenue would be generated year after year and remarkable long term projects should be embarked and finished by ruling governments or their successors of the various governments that will be only privileged to run this dear nation for the time allotted to them by Ghanaians.

A luxurious display of mediocrity and lack of vision by leaders of this country has billowed and blown over us for far too long and must be stopped.

God bless the Western Region, God bless Ghana.

Credit: Godwin-Xavier Ayeebo
Email: [email protected]

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