Ghana is known for its potential in mineral resources like diamond, gold and bauxite, and the latest reports about oil discovery in the country is seen as good news for the socio-economic development of the country. But the greatest questions that Ghanaians must continue to ask themselves are how beneficial the oil will be to the country as a whole and not to the majority and also the consequences that will follow when things turn to go the unexpected way. Oil to a country is a blessing but mismanagement of it turns it into a curse, this has happened to a lot of countries both around and far away from us.
The discovery of oil in the country will help in the upper bracket of a rich identity that should put us all above petty squabbles in the national interest. Oil as been a major problem for many countries both in Africa and the Arab world, but i think it is time for some of us to know the difference between a national interest and a political or partisan interested so that we do not become like the others. Ghana must become the best out of the rest.
Oil exploration and development of oil sectors in West Africa are increasing rapidly. From the Nigeria, Libya and Angola and many others, it is now time for Ghana to enjoy the natural gift of development but this gift can also turn into war.
Discovering of oil in many countries resulted in political instability, are our political leaders also going to take on this negative feature where every political party will be “power angry “to get the total political power over the oil? Our political leaders need to exercise the maximum patience so that the exploration of the oil in the country will be successful, our political leaders must get to know that the peaceful nature of the country is more important than anything else.
Introduction of oil into the country must not let us neglect other economic sectors, including agriculture and manufacturing when this happen; unemployment levels will be high as a result. What we must know is that the oil of the country no matter how much it is can not solve all the problems of the country. The oil industry do little to alleviate the problems, and the income disparities will tend to be very wide, as a privileged few profit from the oil revenue, often through corruption, while the rest of the country stagnates.
Even more serious problems that most oil country faces are the political problems associated with oil wealth. The first is corruption, an endemic problem, when large amounts of revenue start pouring suddenly into countries and there is no strong institutions to monitor the oil drilling process . Another problem is the problem of accountability on behalf of the leaders in charge. A lot of political problems arise from lack of accountability to the people or the concerned institutions, these problems are evident in most of the African countries around us.
Major civil crises are at question in most of the oil countries because the population of oil producing countries often develops a sense of entitlement to wealth–if the country is rich in oil, the population should also be rich. The expectation that oil revenue can take care of all problems is usually unrealistic, particularly in countries with a large population this country.
Finally I will like to say that at the root of most problems that leads to crises and other stagnation in a countries development is the extreme ethnic diversity of the country. When there is no room for the unification of ethnic groups in the country a lot of problems will arise out of that which will not be good for the country. The country’s political leaders must stand against nepotism and favoritisms as the oil is a test of our faith. Development within the country must be even in order to prevent troubles as the militants group in Nigeria. Ghanaians must therefore have a second thought concerning the oil in the country; how well can it be taken care of and also what are its benefits to the country.