By Francis Tandoh
An energy expert Tuesday urged West African country, Ghana to use oil revenue to develop other industries to ensure sustainable livelihood in future.
Victor Kofi Sunu-Attah, Manager in-charge of Development and Production Projects for the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) said here at the on-going 2015 Regional Extractive Industries Knowledge Hub (REIK HUB) Summer School at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Center (KAIPTC).
This, he observed will help the citizenry to be fully engaged in other sectors after exploitation of the oil resource had been exhausted.
?Ghana must create other industries out of oil so that after the oil is no more, that new industries can sustain livelihoods,? he remarked.
Sunu-Attah emphasized resource rich oil producing countries that put all their hope to the new found resource to the detriment of other sectors were paying the price after the collapse of those sectors as the oil had failed to meet their expectations.
He however emphasized Ghana upon the discovery of oil in commercial quantities in 2007 have been able to learn lessons from other oil producing countries including Nigeria, Norway and other jurisdictions enabling the country to adopt best practices within the industry.
Speaking on the topic, ?Gas Development and Monetization,? the Manager in-charge of Development and Production Projects for the GNPC urged authorities in the West African country to channel part of the oil revenue to sectors of the economy including agriculture and research.
?This is a project if we are able to use proceeds from oil and invest massively into them, we will have sustainable country going into the future,? he observed.
The only gas processing facility at Atuabo in the Ellembelle District of the Western Region (Province), 318 kms west of here constructed by Chinese firm, Sinopec International Petroleum Service Corporation, he stated have been able to train Ghanaians who are managing the facility.
Sunu-Attah commended civil society groups in the country for the watchdog they have been playing since the country discovered oil in commercial quantities saying, this has contributed to ensuring that managers of the resource lived up to expectation.
After four years of the commercial production of oil, Ghana according to the Finance Ministry in the 2015 budget statement has so far raked in 2.7 billion United States dollars in revenue.
The country?s Petroleum Revenue Management Act (PRMA) 2011, Act 815 specifies how proceeds from oil should be distributed annually; 70 percent is allocated to support the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) while the 30 percent is lodged into the Ghana Petroleum Funds (GPFs) made up of the Stabilization Fund (SF) and the Heritage Fund (HF) distributed as 21 percent and 9 percent respectively.
The PRMA gives power to the Minister for Finance to spend the ABFA in four priority areas including expenditure and amortization of loans for oil and gas infrastructure, road and other infrastructure, agricultural modernization and capacity building (including oil and gas).
Many have however criticized the allocation as road and infrastructure has always received a greater portion of the revenue as against the other areas.
Out of 543,782,682 Ghana cedis allocated to the ABFA in 2013, 372,074,147 Ghana cedis was allocated to the road and other infrastructure, 137,920,847 Ghana cedis for expenditure and amortization of loans, 13,604,329 Ghana cedis for the agricultural sector while capacity building had 20, 183,359 Ghana cedis.
The 2015 REIK HUB Summer School, which officially opened on Monday August 10, will end on August 21, 2015. Enditem.