[BLOG] Ghana's oil paves the way
By Isaac Twumasi-Quantus
Ghanaians are beginning to feel the impact of the oil being produced from the Jubilee Field so far. The country earned US$444 million to the state coffers, being the sum of royalties and income from the sale of the government’s share of oil output.
Already, China through its state-owned China Development Bank has provided US$3 billion in credit lines to Ghana over the next couple of years. That is more than any of the country’s creditors has provided at any single time.
The President John Dramani Mahama signed the agreement for the transfer of the initial US$1 billion of the credit lines, most of which are being used to build the gas-processing infrastructure planned for Atuabo in the Western Region, but also to deploy an ICT-based communications system to enhance monitoring and surveillance of oil facilities.
For Ghana, the funds will help to plug an infrastructure financing hole, estimated by a World Bank sponsored report in 2010 to be US$1.2 billion annually.
Even though Ghana has joined the middle-income classification of countries, the quality and adequacy of its infrastructure lags peers in sub-Saharan Africa such as Kenya, Mauritius and South Africa. Over the last two decades, the road network has been extended and improved, but most rural roads remain unpaved.
Since oil has become our number one source to turn this situation around, the rules governing the use of revenues from the resource are used to augment road infrastructure.
It is expected that if crude oil prices stay buoyant, the budget for roads will be boosted substantially and the scorecard for access to such infrastructure will look better.