Dr. Steve Manteaw, the Campaign Coordinator for Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC) has proposed for more effective laws and regulations to manage our natural resources in the country. He said although Ghana is gaining some profits on our natural resources through exports, the management and use of these profits remains a challenge. He explained that a proper governance system have not been adopted to tap into the benefits from the country’s natural resources. Speaking in an interview with Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm, he said, Ghana is a commodity dependent country with majority of our foreign gains coming from the export of gold, timber, bauxite, diamond, and others.
The economy of every country he posited, is dependent on foreign currencies which we mostly gain from exports. ‘’You need more foreign currencies to maintain a strong economy,’’ he averred. Dr. Manteaw lamented that Ghana has focused so much on Oil and formulated the Petroleum Revenue Management Act but failed to formulate similar laws on other resources. He said, if you formulate a law on our oil and you fail to do same for other commodities; that is not proper and a dire situation. In his view, instead of having, a Petroleum Stabilization Fund, we should rather establish a Commodity Development Fund to take care of all our export commodities in the country to ensure that, we gain more revenue to cushion us when the need arises. He said “Ghana between the years 2011-2015 gained an amount of $ 3.2 billion from oil however, the money cannot be accounted for. We should have felt the amount on the economy but that is not the case.
It is time we do things right and treat our commodity gains as income for investment and not income for consumption. The oil sector has informed us to establish the oil stabilization fund but we should do same for all the commodities, join them together, so that the management cost for such a fund, will not be more but less. We have gained $ 3. 2 billion dollars from oil but we cannot feel the amount on the economy. The money is huge because we went to China to borrow $ 3 billion and so if oil gave you same amount, is that a small amount?’’