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Opinions of Saturday, 16 October 2021

Columnist: Theo Jones

Is Ghana having a lot of natural resources?

Gold bars Gold bars

Every Ghanaian knows that Ghana is a country of plentiful natural resources and the natural resources of Ghana must solve the nation's problems but that notion is wrong.

Countries like China, Saudi Arabia, Canada, India, Russia, Brazil, U.S.A, Venezuela, Congo and Australia in chronology have far more natural resources than Ghana yet most of them do not extract theirs as much as Ghana has already done yet most of these countries are doing better than Ghana.

In U.A.E for example, only 10% of the country's resources have been explored yet it has been utilized judiciously. About 90% of the desert has not been explored yet, and there is a national policy to preserve national resources for future generations.

Ghana is not having sufficient natural resources as compared to other countries now because we have already exhausted a chunk of our resources yet we didn't put it to good use, it ended up in a few people's pockets and foreign countries.

To develop Ghana we need a new generation of leaders who will put aside natural resources mentality and focus on human resources. Without the right human resources, every natural resource is a waste.

If we do not change strategy, Ghana will sink more into debt and the countries will be sold out in ransom. Every Ghanaian is now owing GH¢11,000 while those who borrowed the money on the countries behalf are extremely rich and own properties abroad, and those who have no idea about why the money is borrowed are in poverty.

To develop Ghana the approach must be radical, and the focus should be on human resources.

All none-science based education should be temporarily shut down for a decade. Every Ghanaian must compulsorily have a science or technology-oriented education. There must be a compulsory and aggressive infrastructure development plan that must be followed.

All the regional divisions should be collapsed into one, Ghana should be a one-region country and 2/3 of all undeveloped lands in Ghana must be used for state farming to grow food to feed the population and also for export.

The government should systematically weaken chieftaincy institutions if possible eradicate them. I am not writing what will make you happy, I am writing facts and the way. You can't be doing the same things, the same way and be expecting different results. That's madness!

There must be a ban on foreign travel for all high-ranking public officials, their wives and kids, for all purposes for a decade, except the foreign affairs minister. Religion must be heavily regulated by the state to weed out excesses.

Prices of goods and commodities must be heavily regulated by the state, and offenders should serve a jail term. All uniform men especially the police should be trained for a minimum of 3 years instead of 6 months.

Taxes on all businesses should be scrubbed off. Imports and Exports should be duty-free. All foreign embassies must be compelled by the government to a visa-free regime for all Ghanaian citizens and we grant them the same or diplomatic relationships should be cut off with them.

Ghana should also change trade partners, we should focus on building strong alliances with the east and cut off western imperialism. And that is the only way we can develop. There are more but space restraints.

Every government's main priority should be how to lift the ordinary Ghanaian from poverty, otherwise, we are not going anywhere.