Managing Director (MD) of the Ghana Oil Company Limited (GOIL), Mr Patrick Akorli, has bemoaned Ghana’s over-reliance on its natural resources for development, noting that “we don’t need gold and other natural resources to become a great nation.”
Mr Akorli, who was unhappy with the failure of governments to protect and support indigenous businesses against competition from foreign companies and agents, called for leaders who will seek the wellbeing of Ghanaians and not their own.
He stressed the need for the right crop of leaders and sound leadership to exploit the country’s resources for development, cautioning that “It’s not about the resources because we have all the resources but if we don’t have the right leadership, the resources will be there and foreigners will come for them.”
Mr Akorli, who was the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Ghana (CIMG) Marketing Man of the Year, 2015, made the remarks when he addressed marketing practitioners and business leaders at a forum held by the CIMG on Wednesday.
Using examples from South Korea and Malaysia, the GOIL MD said South Korea’s economic development was driven by four individual indigenous companies and not by reliance on natural resources, which are even non-existent there.
The theme for the forum was ‘Believing in Ghana: Creating leaders for the Nation’s development.’
“That country, Korea, is a rich, technologically advanced, mature democracy with an impressive record of innovation, economic reform, and sound leadership,” the GOIL MD noted.
Seoul channelled massive amounts of capital through subsidies and low-interest-rate loans into trusted family-led conglomerates.
The firms also enjoyed trade preferences and monopoly rights, among other indulgences extended by the government.
Such preferential treatment enabled the chaebol, which today include Hyundai and Samsung, to grow into massive business empires whose brands are now recognised and envied around the world.
Describing the Koreans and Malaysians as hardworking people, Mr Akorli challenged Ghanaian youth to commit themselves to hard work and plan to succeed in their respective endeavours.
Minister for Business Development, Mr Mohammed Awal, who was the special guest at the programme, pledged government’s unflinching commitment to equipping the country’s youth with entrepreneurial skills that would set them up to manage their own affairs and contribute to job creation.
Recounting some of the major policy interventions government had made within the last eight months, the Minister said: “We are poised to deliver on all promises made with regard to job creation and youth empowerment.”
Source: Isaac Aidoo || The Finder