Mr Mohammed Mahamud of Oxfam Ghana says it is important to address the growing social and economic inequalities to avoid tension and other social ills.

He said majority of Ghanaians still struggled to have access to quality social services and that was an indication of the level of inequality in the country.

Mr Mahamud was speaking at a Stakeholder Dialogue on the “Effect of Natural Resources Extraction and Taxation on Inequality”, organized by the Friends of the Nation with support from OXFAM Ghana.

He said women must, as a matter of urgency, be empowered as the key stop-gap in the fight against social and economic inequalities.

Mr Mahamud urged the Government to widen the tax net rather than deepen the burden on some few members of the population.

Mrs Eugenia Gifty Kusi, the Deputy Western Regional Minster, said various interventions had been put together to ensure accelerated development.

She called for strict compliance of the Local Content Act, capacity building and comprehensive plan for corporate social responsibility to benefit the local communities.

The Dialogue brought together government officials, CSOs, academia and industry players to brainstorm on how to create an enabling environment to halt resource abuse and ensure it benefitted the majority of the people.

Natural resources are important wealth creating instruments for developing countries as they account for over 50 per cent of Gross Domestic Product in some developing countries.

However, the full range of benefits that could accrue to the resource owners have been limited because of a variety of factors including the enclave nature of the industry and the capital intensive requirements.

Against the backdrop of the social, economic and environmental impacts of the extractive industry, the tax and broader fiscal system that applies there should ensure that the Government obtained an adequate and appropriate share of the benefits from its resources

The potential of the oil & gas industry in Ghana is
high and expectations are still elevated among the populace of the benefits from the petroleum sector.

The prospects for Ghana’s Petroleum industry is positive as about 23 more discoveries have been made and are at different stages of development, apart from the current three producing fields; Jubilee, Tweneboa Enyera Ntomme (TEN), and Sankofa Gye Nyame.

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