…Prez. Assures Avenor Chiefs Ahead Of Oil Exploration
By Frank Amponsah
President Akufo-Addo, has sent a strong signal that his government will ensure greater Ghanaian participation in the exploration of onshore oil deposits in Ghana particularly in the Volta basin as compared to offshore oil exploration which has large foreign involvement.
The President made the disclosure when he responded to a request by Chiefs of Avenor during an interaction with them, Queen Mothers and Elders of the Avenor Traditional Council when they paid a courtesy call on him at the Jubilee House today the 13th of January 2020.
The Avenor Chief
In his address to the President, the leader of the Delegation, Paramount Chief and President of the Avenor Traditional Council, Torgbe Dorglo Anumah VI, requested government to put in place mechanisms to begin oil exploration in their area immediately.
“Long ago the Romanians were exploring oil in Avenorpeme and they bandied off and claimed that the oil involved was not in commercial quantities, but we are of the believe that their technology was limited and not advanced enough. Today, oil has been discovered in the Volta basin and we know that the catchment area covers our area also”. We are pleading and hoping that you find the wisdom, the financial resources, to undertake this important project” Torgbe Dorglo said.
President Akufo-Addo in response to the request of the paramount Chief of Avenor indicated that his call is a welcomed one but the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) would have to be allowed to complete their ongoing studies in the area. He further noted that in the event that the studies establish the available of the oil deposits, he will ensure that Ghanaians get the upper hand in the exploration of same.
“On shore is much cheaper to bring up than off shore oil. Off shore oil is a very expensive business and that is why you need these huge companies, ExxonMobil, and others, to be able to put the rigs into the seabed to bring up the oil. When it comes to onshore, the capital is not so expensive so we are hoping that if the studies confirm that there is indeed oil there, we can get as many Ghanaians as possible, people from the area and elsewhere to be involved in bring it up and using it for our development” President Akufo-Addo stated.
Further Requests by the Chiefs
The Chiefs amongst others also requested of government to facilitate efforts at the formal inauguration of the anticipated change of the Avenor Traditional Area from a District to a Municipal Assembly. They also requested for two busses for the Avenor Senior High School and the Traditional Council, completion of the Akatsi District Hospital into a fully-fledged hospital, and Presidential recognition of the “Avenor Tutudoza festival” on the national calendar of festivals in Ghana. To the multiple requests, President Akufo-Addo said he will ensure that all the relevant Ministers and institutions give them the needed attention it deserves.