The Member of Parliament for Takoradi Kwabena Okyere Darko is promising a relocation of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation from Tema in Accra to the Western Region if the New Patriotic Party is voted back into power.
The MP said the relocation will form part of a complete decentralization of the oil sector to boost employment in the area.
He was speaking on Joy FM’s Ballot Box program held in the Western Region, Friday.
Unlike previous Ballot Box programs where citizenry vote on wide range of issues they think are important to them ahead of the elections, the Western Region edition exclusively centred on the oil sector and how the sector could be managed efficiently for purposes of development in the Region.
Despite being endowed with most of the country’s natural resources like gold, cocoa, diamond and now oil, the Western Region has seen little development.
Unemployment and poverty are rife in the midst of abundance. A total of 380 residents who voted in the Ballot Box program rated unemployment and standards of living as the most important challenges facing the people in the region and which needed attention with the oil revenue.
A total of 56 residents voted unemployment as their major problem in the region. The same number voted poor standards of living in the area as a concern. Some 40 residents voted education with few others voting agriculture as an issue that needs to be addressed by the next government to be elected in December.
Agreeing with the concerns by the resident, the MP for Takoradi Kwabena Okyere Darko told Ballot Box host Evans Mensah and a multitude of residents who converged for the program that time has come to break the “Kwashiorkor type of development” in Ghana.
He explained the Kwashiorkor development is the when the capital city like Accra is developed at the expense of other parts of the country, particularly, key areas that provide resources for the whole country.
He said the under development of the Western Region has left the youth disillusioned with most of them moving to Libya in search of greener pasture.
That trend will change if the NPP is voted into power in December, he promised, much to the excitement of the residents who thronged the place.
He said the claim by the NDC government to have built roads and developed massive infrastructure in the area can only be false, insisting a chunk of the money had gone into individual pockets.
Kwabena Okyere Darko said with the Coastal Development Authority promised by the NPP flagbearer, Nana Akufo-Addo, the next NPP government will implement policies that will benefit the over 2 million Ghanaians living along the coast.
He said the NPP will use the “oil as growth pole” to change the Western Region. He said when the GNPC, which is the regulatory body for all oil poduction activities, is relocated to the Western Region other related businesses will follow suit and move to the region and that will boost employment in the area.
Though invited, NDC Members of Parliaments, aspirants and reps of the governing National Democratic Congress could not make it to the Ballot Box program in the Western Region, even though they had been prominent in other regions.
There were however reps from the CPP as well as the PPP.