The Oti Regional House of Chiefs has urged the government to see to the payment of royalties due the chiefs and people of the area when the exploration of discovered resources in the region commences.
Currently, the region hosts commercial quantities of iron ore while hydrocarbons have been discovered in the Voltaian Basin.
President of the Oti Regional House of Chiefs, Krachiwura Nana Mprah Besemuna III, said it was necessary that as custodians of the land, the chiefs and people were given royalties due to them as and when necessary to promote goodwill.
He was speaking in Dambai yesterday when the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, met members of the House.
The meeting formed part of the Minister’s working visit to the region to interact with chiefs and other relevant stakeholders on matters concerning the land and natural resources sector.
As a new region, the Krachiwura noted that it was faced with a myriad of challenges that required immediate solutions to bring relief to the people of the area.
He, however, expressed confidence in the government to work towards retaining the full value chain of all mineral resources exploited in the region to create employment and improve livelihoods.
Krachiwura, who is the Paramount Chief of the Krachi Traditional Area, further commended the government for including traditional rulers in the administration of the country’s natural resources.
“We recognize these efforts and we will support you, our Minister, on all fronts to bring the development the region needs,” he stated.
Mr Jinapor, on his part, called on the Chiefs and Queen mothers of the Oti Region to partner government to effectively manage the newly found resources.
Without them, he stated, the resources could not be properly managed for the benefit of the people.
“It is now time for government and traditional rulers to come together to protect our lands and natural resources”.
I appeal that you work with the Oti Regional Security Council (REGSEC) to protect the lands that have these natural resources from foreigners who are likely to take away the raw materials for personal gains without retaining any value in the region,” he added.
Mr Jinapor asked the chiefs to cooperate with the government as it mobilizes the needed resources and funds to exploit the resources for the good of the people.