The Managing Editor of the Insight Newspaper, Kwasi Pratt Junior has described as ridiculous demands by Chiefs in the Western Region for a ten percent share of Ghana’s oil revenue.
The Chiefs, who recently made the proposal to Parliament, have been disappointed following a rejection of their demands by the Parliamentary Select Committees on Energy, Mines and Finance.
According to Mr. Pratt, Ghana is a unitary state and deserves to be developed holistically rather than on regional basis. He noted that even the ten percent demand by the chiefs is woefully inadequate for the development the Western Region requires.
Speaking to Citi News, Mr. Pratt observed that the Western Region’s infrastructural development must not necessarily be informed by the oil resource. “The Western needs to be developed very rapidly. There needs to be some kind of affirmative action for that region. That is not in doubt but that does not justify the demand that ten percent of all the money that will be accrued from oil exploration should be set aside for them. I don’t even think that ten percent of oil resources will be enough to address the problems of the Western Region. The Region needs far more than that. Besides, I don’t think that we need to address problems of the Western Region simply because we found d oil there. Whether we found oil there or not, the Region’s problems must be addressed” he emphasized.
Mr. Kwasi Pratt who described the proposal by the chiefs as ridiculous likened the Western Region’s situation to the Volta Region, where the Akosombo Dam constructed on the Volta Lake many years ago, often poses problems for residents of the area and sometimes leading to the loss of human lives.
“We built the Akosombo dam causing considerable inconveniences to people and sometimes loss of lives and property all the way from Burkina Faso. Are we then going to say that the people who live on the Volta River are also entitled to ten percent of all revenue that is generated by the Volta River Authority (VRA)? It is a ridiculous position to take” he said.