The Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), a policy think tank, has advised the Government to invest part of the oil revenue in Agriculture, Education and Health to ensure effective economic growth and development.
Dr. Ishmael Ackah, the Head of Policy Unit of ACEP, who made the call at a consultative forum on Oil Revenue Management, said properly financing these sectors would help address the challenges of socio-economic disparities and help reduce poverty.
He said there was the need for the Government to prioritise and increase investment in these areas for long-term benefits and equity.
The forum, organised by ACEP, in collaboration with the Department of Sociology and Anthropology of the University of Cape Coast (UCC) was on the theme: “Five years Oil production in Ghana, the Need to Invest in Education, Health and Agriculture”.
He noted, however, that even though oil revenue played a significant role in the capital budget, it could not solely fund the budgets of Education, Agriculture and Health but it could directly facilitate their growth if more of it was used to supplement the existing budgets.
He called for a proper investment plan that had a target with concrete monitoring and evaluation mechanisms to ensure that Ghana got value for money, while there must be determined efforts to use the oil resources to transform these sectors of the economy.
Mr. Benjamin Boakye, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of ACEP, said by the virtue of Ghana being a lower –middle income country, donor support towards the sectors under review had dwindled, hence the need for the Government to put more oil revenue in those sectors.
He said it was important that the citizenry participated in discussions on the management of revenue from the oil and gas sector for the country to derive maximum benefits from the resources.
Some of the participants suggested that the amount of oil revenue allocated to the Education sector must be channeled to the basic schools to build stronger foundation for Ghanaian students.
Others also called for a portion of the amount to be used to support research in the tertiary institutions, and suggested that strict measures be put in place to monitor projects funded with oil revenue for the citizenry to get involved in its usage.