Ensure equitable distribution of resources to avoid tension

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By Mildred Siabi-Mensah, GNA   

Takoradi, Dec. 7, GNA – Mr Mohammed Mahamud
of Oxfam Ghana says it is important to address the growing social and economic
inequalities to avoid tension and other social ills.

He said majority of Ghanaians still
struggled to have access to quality social services and that was an indication
of the level of inequality in the country. 

Mr Mahamud was speaking at a Stakeholder
Dialogue on the “Effect of Natural Resources Extraction and Taxation on
Inequality”, organized by the Friends of the Nation with support from
OXFAM Ghana.

He said women must, as a matter of urgency,
be empowered as the key stop-gap in the fight against social and economic
inequalities.

Mr Mahamud urged the Government to widen the
tax net rather than deepen the burden on some few members of the population.

Mrs Eugenia Gifty Kusi, the Deputy Western
Regional Minster, said various interventions had been put together to ensure
accelerated development.

She called for strict compliance of the
Local Content Act, capacity building and comprehensive plan for corporate
social responsibility to benefit the local communities.

The Dialogue brought together government
officials, CSOs, academia and industry players to brainstorm on how to create
an enabling environment to halt resource abuse and ensure it benefitted the
majority of the people.

Natural resources are important wealth
creating instruments for developing countries as they account for over 50 per
cent of Gross Domestic Product in some developing countries.

However, the full range of benefits that
could accrue to the resource owners have been limited because of a variety of
factors including the enclave nature of the industry and the capital intensive
requirements.

Against the backdrop of the social, economic
and environmental impacts of the extractive industry, the tax and broader
fiscal system that applies there should ensure that the Government obtained an
adequate and appropriate share of the benefits from its resources

The potential of the oil & gas industry
in Ghana is high and expectations are still elevated among the populace of the
benefits from the petroleum sector.

The prospects for Ghana’s Petroleum industry
is positive as about 23 more discoveries have been made and are at different
stages of development, apart from the current three producing fields; Jubilee,
Tweneboa Enyera Ntomme (TEN), and Sankofa Gye Nyame.

GNA

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