The Western regional House of Chiefs has tasked government and companies in the country’s oil and gas sector to provide sustainable alternative livelihoods for persons affected by offshore oil production.
Speaking in Takoradi at the annual engagement of the Chiefs with the Petroleum Commission, the president of the Western Regional House of Chiefs, Ogyeahoho Yaw Gyebi II, wondered why the Black Stars benefited from proceeds from the oil to the neglect of fishermen who are directly affected by the exploration.
“These fishermen were there before these companies came so who is intruding who? Who is driving away who?” he queried adding, “we spent a whopping three million dollars on Black Stars…throw three million away and we cannot find alternative livelihoods for our fishermen.”
He continued: “Meanwhile we all know that strong lights attract fish and that is where you say they shouldn’t go. And the Navy are not there to protect our fishermen but they are there to protect the oil companies.”
According to him, the treatment being meted out to the fisher folks is not fair.
Meanwhile, the Acting Chief Executive of the Petroleum Commission, Egbert Faibille Jnr is proposing the formation of a working group with representatives of the Regional House of Chiefs and the Petroleum Commission to find solutions to the issues.
The working group, he said, will be given six months to find practicable solutions to the issues “so that we have a certain document to use as a signpost for solving the issues.”