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Deputy Minister Calls On Cabinet To Develop Western Region   
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Mrs Gifty Eugenia Kusi, Deputy Western Regional Minister, has appealed to cabinet to develop the region since it contributes significantly to the growth of the national economy.

She said the Western Region had the bulk of the country's natural resources, solid minerals and hydrocarbons and provides the bulk of foreign exchange earnings.

Delivering the welcome address, at the Ghana Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (GHEITI) stakeholders engagement on mining, oil, gas and commodity trading report for 2015 and 2016 in Tarkwa, Mrs. Kusi said the Bank of Ghana figures show that the total revenue Ghana collected for exports stood at 13.8 billion dollars.

She said a breakdown showed that gold contributed about 5.8 billion dollars, while oil and cocoa was 3.1 billion and 2.7 billion dollars respectively.

"If these figures are anything to go by, then we in the Western Region are really carrying the whole Ghana on our shoulders" she said.

Mrs. Kusi explained that the conditions in mining, oil and gas communities do not measure up to the huge resources that had over the years been extracted by the companies operating in those areas.

When mining, oil and gas activities comes to an area, it attracts a large workforce, which mounts pressure on social amenities that the assemblies provide, she said.

"The mining, oil and gas communities continue to suffer from the negative effects of the extractive of this finite resources and most of these communities happened to be among the deprived communities in the country, lacking tangible infrastructural facilities such as portable water, good health and educational facilities" she added.

Mrs. Kusi pointed out that the royalties that goes to the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies was not adequate to solve their problems.

According to her, initiatives like the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) which provides opportunity for public disclosure of revenues by extractive companies and government, would go a long way to complement existing structures of good governance and transparency in the country and put them on their toes.

"We believe making the people aware of revenue generated from the activities of extractive industries like mining, oil and gas, would engender citizens participation in the decision making process at the three local levels and help to promote local economic development and poverty reduction" she indicated.

She commended the EITI for the good work and urged participants to take the dissemination of the reports seriously and also share the knowledge they had acquired with their colleagues.

Source: GNA

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