Mr Mohammed Amin Adam, National Oil Coordinator of Publish What You Pay, a non-governmental organisation on oil and gas, has called on government to provide framework for the youth to contribute in harnessing the oil and gas industry.
“It is an anomaly that the youth are not represented on the proposed Public Interest and Accountability Committee set up to provide public oversight over the management of petroleum revenue,” he said.
Mr Adam made the call at a Policy Dialogue to mark this year’s International Youth Day Celebration in Accra.
It was under the theme: “Policy Dialogue on the Youth as a Channel in the National Efforts at Achieving the MDGs”.
He noted that the youth might be tempted to form a group of resource for nationalism because of their high expectation of jobs in the oil and gas industry.
Mr Adam said the Centre for Economic of University of Texas, USA, had predicted about 1,000 jobs, which included 120 workers in the Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) Shuttle.
“Therefore, most of us expecting to get jobs from the industry may have to reconsider our expectations since the industry requires some specialised skills, which are expensive to acquire” he added.
He commended government’s investment policy to determine future of the youth through public investments in the sector that directly impacted on the youth.
Mr Adam noted that Ghana might increase public investment to five per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and high growth countries invest five to seven per cent of GDP per year in incremental for education and infrastructure.
He said government’s commitment towards transparency in the oil and gas industry was positive but noted that future governments might not have the same commitment and therefore called for a legislature on transparency initiatives.
“The youth would have to lead the crusade in this respect,” he said, advising the youth to be cautious about selfish groups who might recruit them for negative activities in the oil producing communities.
Mr Samuel Dotse, Chief Executive Officer of HATOF Foundation, another NGO, called on political leaders to engage the youth in addressing climate change.
He urged government to include three youth representatives in the delegation to the 16th Conference of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to be held in Mexico in December this year.
Mr Joseph Owusu, Representative of Ghana Agriculture Workers Union, urged the youth to advocate for decent work to eradicate poverty in achieving the MDG’s.