By Linda Akrasi Kotey
The Member of Parliament (MP) for Sene and Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee in charge of Communications, Felix Twumasi Appiah, says he disagrees with the chiefs and people of the Western Region demanding a 10% share from the oil revenue.
He added that he does not know why any person or group of persons would claim ownership of the sea, and that it would only be fair, if every region was given 10% of the oil revenue to ensure equitable distribution of the resources.
“In my constituency in Sene, where we have forests, no one can get up and say I am going to cut a tree because I want a tree for commercial use, you cannot claim ownership of that forest in my constituency.”
Contributing to the motion to adopt the committee’s report on the Petroleum Revenue Management Bill, the outspoken legislator said the basis of the chiefs to come up with such a proposal was neither here nor there.
He argued that in the Brong Ahafo Region, where they have gold, cocoa and bauxite, they were not saying that they should also be given a percentage of it, and therefore, wondered where the proposal was coming from.
The MP for Sekondi, Papa Owusu Ankomah, who intervened in his submission, urged the member to tread cautiously, since the issue before them was a sensitive one.
The Sene MP mentioned that the argument that the oil revenues should not be used to guarantee loans because it was not renewable was neither here nor there. “My grandfather has cocoa, he can decide to cut them today and plant cassava,” he added.
He said “if parliament decides that looking at the fluctuations on the oil market we should go and hedge and use it as collateral, it is not bad.”
The Deputy Minister of Energy, Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah, in his submission, told the house that he was concerned about the petition of the Western Region, because issues of the region were rare, and did not start recently.
He said successive governments had failed to live up to the promise of the region, as such, he gets worried when he sees an example being repeated in other regions.