Oil revenue will be used to alleviate poverty in Ghana

May 07, 2009 02:00 AM

The President John Evans Atta Mills has reiterated that revenue to be generated from the exploration of oil in Ghana will be used to alleviate poverty in country.
Following the discovery of oil in commercial quantities, Ghana is expected to drill over 120,000 barrels of oil in 2010. Concerns have however been raised over how the oil revenue will be expended, with some cautioning of a potential corruption in high places. Others fear the discovery of oil might lead to a potential conflict in Ghana, especially in areas where the commodity is located.

Speaking on BBC's Africa Have Your Say, President Mills said "every pesewa of the oil revenue will be accounted for." The interview is part of activities marking the three day official visit by the president to the United Kingdom.
President Mills said with the sour experiences in countries where oil has become a curse rather than a blessing, "there shall be no substitute for honesty" in handling the situation Ghana. He said "if you cannot use political power to help improve the lot of the people, the people will then dictate to you who should be their leader."

The issue of car seizures, which has grabbed headlines in the country, popped up at the interview. A texter from Ghana lamented the instances of car seizures in the country and advised for a more "civilized" approach to be used in taking over the cars.
The president attributed the incidents partially to the lack of good inventory for government property. But he did not understand why past government officials should still hold on to their official cars, saying government will not rest until it takes back what is rightfully government's.

On the economy, the president said government will not renege on its promises to improve the standard of living of Ghanaians, but said that cannot be eradicated in the short term. He maintained that the economy he inherited from the NPP government is in a sorry state with a "budget deficit of 15 %, inflation in double digits."
"All the fundamentals of the economy are wrong," he said, threatening "if you call the bluff of government, we will let Ghanaians know the real state of the economy." He said government has taken a $ 1.2 bn facility from the IMF which will be invested to improve the economy.

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