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Interesting article and comment. I would add one thing regarding the Western Region: the region's infrastructure is already strained. If the oil industry and in particular the downstream sector continue to develop without concurrent infrastructure development, local residents could be effectively worse off because of oil (even if not directly impacted by it). Interviewing young people in the region, I'm finding that many are already adjusting their expectations. However, the rising rents, increased traffic, problems with electricity, lack of sewage treatment system (in Sekondi-Takoradi), etc. make people question the "benefits" of oil...The government has decided against allocating a percentage of oil revenues to the Western Region (and there are valid reasons for this decision), but it ignores the infrastructure needs of the area at a great risk. On a recent visit to Sekondi, Mills stated that the region needed massive infrastructure improvement...now we'll have to see if those words translate into action.

Kobina: It is true that the Ghana Petroleum Management Law prohibits the special transfer of funds to specific regions as it is the case in the mining sector. 

 

This provision has actually been the cause of increased agitations of chiefs in the Western Region. What remains important for now is to increase education on this provision to nip any unfavourable in the bud. This is why we are calling for increased education to clamp down on wild expectations. The government should also increase development interventions in the region.

 

Kobina, this issue still remains delicate. The chiefs claim during electioneering campaign, the ruling government promised to give 10% hence their demand. The govt has changed its course and it is now contentious.

 

The question to pose is that does offshore oil production favour certain regions especially when impacts are not direct as is the case of onshore production.

Stephen: I was in Ghana's Western Region a couple of weeks ago, and the chiefs and people still sound bitter that the Petroleum Bill did not have a provision for special transfers to the oil-producing region. Given what you learned in Nigeria, I'm curious to hear your view on that matter in Ghana.