Business News of 2014-03-17

Activities of oil companies killing fishing industry - Western chiefs

Chiefs in the Western Region have expressed frustration with the activities of oil companies, saying their source of livelihood, fishing, is being destroyed.

At meeting with President Mahama, the chiefs said the discovery of oil with its attendant drilling activity is making life unbearable for the fishing folks in the region.

The Vice President of the Western Regional House of Chiefs, Nana Akwasi Agyemang IX, told President Mahama the fishermen no longer catch enough fish when they go fishing.

"The marine environment, most especially with regard to the oil and gas, is our worry and also the poverty level and the living condition of our fishing communities is abysmal", Nana Akwasi Agyemang IX noted.

According to him, even though the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has indicated that scientifically, the drilling of oil is not causing any environmental problem to fishing activities in the region, fish catch has been on the decline.

The Vice President of the Western Regional House of Chiefs therefore expressed hope that a committee will be set up and directed to look into the problem and propose steps to address the situation.

President Mahama, who is in the region as part of his three day working tour, told the Chiefs his government is concerned about human development and the total facelift of the region.

The President said government has embarked on some projects that will create thousands of jobs for the people in the region, citing the expansion of the Takoradi Harbour.

Joy News' Presidential correspondent, Seth Kwame Boateng reports that President Mahama told a congregation of the Grace Pentecostal Assembly of God Church in Effiakuma to take advantage of the many opportunities available to them.

According to the President, there is the need for the people to prepare adequately and position themselves in the number of industries and companies that are being established in the region.

The president noted that even though the country is going through some challenges, there is hope that very soon, the economy will get better.