We’ll Create Assets from Oil Revenues – Nana Addo
President Akufo-Addo has said his government is going to use oil revenues to create assets for the country, and not waste it on consumption.
According to him, as a relatively new entrant in the league of oil-producing countries, Ghana is not going to treat her oil like she has done with gold, and allow it to be exported in its raw material form as crude.
Speaking at the London Business School’s Africa Summit on Saturday, on the theme “Scaling for Impact – the Important Role of Industrialization,” he explained “Ghana’s oil presents the country with the perfect opportunity to transform the structure of Ghanaian economy through industrialization and value-added commercial activities.”
“Our oilfields provide us with the perfect opportunity to create a petrochemical industry in Ghana. We have begun the processes leading to the setting up of a gas feedstock industrial estate in the Western Region of the country,” he stressed.
He further disclosed government’s intention to convert petrochemicals into hundreds of industrial and consumer products produced in the country.
They include plastics, paints, rubber, fertilizers, detergents, dyes, textiles, solvents and, hopefully, bitumen for road construction.
The President was convinced that from the petroleum, the country can get the preservatives to can food produced in Ghana, with the synthetic by-product from petroleum serving as raw material for the manufacturing of different types of garments and footwear.
Touching on the importance of education, President Akufo-Addo said industrialization can only be successful with a workforce that is equipped and skilled, and can compete effectively on the global market.
He mentioned that any country that aims to transform itself into a modern productive player in the global marketplace must get its educational policies right, adding that the countries that have made rapid progress around the world put education at the heart of their development.
Citing the example of the United States of America’s transitioning to publicly funded high school education in the mid-19th century, he stated that the experiment paid off for America to set herself up for 20th century success, creating a workforce fit for rapid economic development, which has inspired the emergence of the most powerful economy so far known to human history.
“Indeed, other nations, who began their lives as independent states at the same time as we did, like Singapore, Malaysia and Korea, have emulated a similar model, and have also achieved great economic success.
In fact, in their case, they followed Japan’s excellent example,” he said.
He believes his government would be able to transform the economy and reduce unemployment if much attention is paid to technical and vocational training.
By: Emmanuel Yeboah Britwum