The President, Professor John Evans Atta Mills, has stated that the government will not tolerate the misappropriation and misapplication of revenue from the oil find at the expense of the people. He said it would deal ruthlessly with individuals or groups of persons who would use clandestine means to siphon resources from the oil find meant for the overall development of the country for their personal gains.
Speaking at a durbar in Takoradi, President Mills said those who had conceived the idea of embezzling the money accruing from the oil find should be prepared to face the full rigours of the law. Flanked by the ministers of Health, Roads and Highways, and Chieftaincy Affairs, President Mills assured the gathering that revenue from the oil find would be prudently utilised to improve the quality of life of the people.
Nobody has monopoly over the oil find to manipulate the system to his individual advantage. It is a blessing from God which should be used to improve the material conditions of the vast majority of the people, as well as resuscitate the economy which is seriously challenged at the moment, he said. He explained that the government would liaise with the chiefs in the region for the release of land which would be used for the establishment of industries for the oil find to provide employment for the people, especially the youth.
President Mills expressed the governments resolve to ensure that the services needed by oil-drilling companies in the area would be provided mostly by Ghanaians. He directed that the salary arrears of workers of the Ghana Railways Corporation should be paid to them to enable them to take good care of their families. He also told the gathering that the government was in the process of rehabilitating the rail lines to ensure that timber and other resources from the hinterland were sent to the ports at minimal cost.
President Mills said the present situation where timber logs and other mineral resources were sent to the port by road tended to reduce the lifespan of our roads, compelling the government to find money to rehabilitate them. For his part, the President of the Western Regional House of Chiefs, Awulae Attibrukusu IV, pledged the support of the chiefs to the government and called on President Mills to set up a special oil fund to address the myriad of problems confronting the region and its people.
He thanked the government for instituting the appropriate framework that would deal with the agitation usually associated with the oil industry. Awulae Attibrukusu also made a passionate appeal to President Mills to consider providing employment for the youth of the area when the drilling of oil in the area commenced in 2010. He said the house of chiefs was currently engaged in an educational drive to explain the potential and hazards associated with the oil industry to the people in the area.
The Western Regional Minister, Mr Paul Evans Aidoo, thanked the people for the warm reception accorded the President and gave the assurance that the government would commit massive resources into the development of the region which, he said, was the mainstay of the Ghanaian economy.
Source: Daily Graphic
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