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Govt Must Develop A Comprehensive Oil Policy
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Mr. Edward Ennin, Member of Parliament for Obuasi, on Thursday, urged the government to draw up a comprehensive policy on Oil and Gas to avoid some of the negative repercussions that have bedevilled the mining sector over the years.

He said the current situation that leaves local assemblies to determine the uses of taxes, royalties and property rates is not helping mining communities because of bad decisions and direction by the leadership.

Mr. Ennin, who was speaking in interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on the sidelines of a three-day workshop on Oil and Gas for selected Members of Parliament, at Sogakope, stressed that there was the need for communities within the oil find in the Western Region to benefit from infrastructural development and other socio-economic amenities.

He noted, "Although mining companies in the various communities pay income tax, royalties and property rates, poor management from the beneficiary assemblies have deprived the people them from the needed development projects."

He, therefore, appealed to the government to consider supporting the mining communities as the first beneficiaries before extending it to other communities in the assemblies to avoid the perennial demonstrations, boycotts and all other forms of disagreements.

Mr. Ennin said it was important for the government to come out with a clear-cut policy and directives for these communities and not leave the assemblies to take unilaterally take decisions against the will of the mining communities.

He said although mining companies had over the years received negative criticisms, they refused to defend themselves because of political interpretations and challenged them to be resolute and bold in their decisions to exonerate and extricate themselves from such unwarranted criticisms.

The Obuasi MP also appealed to beneficiary communities of royalties and income tax to avoid discrimination and petty internal squabbles that had stalled a lot of development projects in their areas over the years.

"Do not allow the assemblies to capitalize on your perpetual disagreements to deprive you of your share of development royalties, but rather forge ahead with them to access all the funds for your areas," he advised.
Source: GNA

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