The government has been asked to establish an Oil and Gas Commission to manage these resources and all revenue that would accrue from their exploitation for the benefit of the entire nation.

Naa Bob Loggah, Executive Director of the Suntaa-Nuntaa Agro-Forestry Project, a Wa-based environmental non-governmental organization, suggested that the commission should have representation from all the 10 regions of the country.

This would foster transparency and equity in the distribution of oil and gas revenue in order to promote holistic development and forestall some of the pitfalls that befell other countries where the commodity had become a curse rather than a blessing.

He said this when the Upper West Region took its turn in the series of regional forums to provide platforms for the citizenry to make their input into the National Forum on Oil and Gas that kicked off in Accra in February.

Naa Loggah called for the use of part of the oil revenue to develop fuel plants like “Jetropha’ since that is a renewable natural resource which could be relied upon for fuel when Oil ceases to flow.

Wing Commander Eric Dakurah (Rtd), Nadowli District Chief Executive, suggested that the Ghana Navy should be strengthened to take care of security operations along the coast instead of setting up a National Coast Guard as the National Forum suggested.

Mr Kingston Yeboah Peasah, Policy Analyst at the Office of the President who facilitated the discussions, promised to bring all the useful suggestions and contributions made at the forum on board the final document.

He said no community would be discriminated against in the sharing of the oil revenue.

Mr Anthony Anane Assiamah, a geophysicist at the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, said the companies that had discovered oil were careful not to put up production figures now until all the appraisals have been completed.

Mrs. Winifred Dy-yaka, the Regional Deputy Minister, said it was the determination of the government to make the oil a blessing to Ghanaians.

She cautioned that the country should not in its euphoria and excitement about the oil discovery neglect the other resources that the country had relied on for development over the years.

Part of the Oil money should be used particularly in modernizing agriculture.

Source: GNA