An urban development planner, Bernard Abeiku Arthur, is backing moves by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to relocate the headquarters of the Ghana National Petroleum Company (GNPC) to the Western region.
Mr Arthur argued on 3FM’s Sunrise morning show Tuesday that the move would bolster diversification of State functions.
“Shifting the Company to Takoradi is in order because the oil find is there,” he said, noting the Takoradi Port would also serve a vital transportation purpose for the oil.
“It will also help this country immensely in diversifying the functions of state organization. Especially when the diversification is aimed at making Takoradi a Town that performs a specific diversified function,” he argued.
President Akufo-Addo in the run up to the December 7, 2016 elections promised the headquarters of the Ghana National Petroleum Company to the Western Region where Ghana’s oil is.
Meanwhile, Mr Arthur wants the move to be backed by deliberate State policy aimed at stimulating economic activity rather than entrenched regional interest.
“It has to be a deliberate State policy aimed at stimulating a particular settlement to perform an important economic activity. Even though GNPC is located in Tema in the Greater Accra region, the fundamental point is that Tema doesn’t have oil yet, though there is regulation on how the oil industry is supposed to be driven”.
Mr Arthur said the argument against the relocation of the GNPC headquarters on the basis that oil will be discovered in other places in the country does not suffice, and cited examples in other jurisdictions to back his point.
He cited Aberdeen in Scotland as the oil capital of the oil industry in that country and Oklahoma as the power Energy capital of the US with Houston performing the oil capital of that country even though they are not the capital cities.
“These cities have subsequently had economic activities build around them for development,” he added.
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