-Dr. Shannon discloses
Ex-minister of Lands, Mines and Energy Dr. Eugene Shannon has disclosed here that of the world’s billions of people, 2.8 billion live on less than one dollar a day. He said eight out of every 100 infants do not live to see their fifth birthday, while nine out of every 100 boys and 14 out of every 100 girls who reach school age, are not in school.
Dr. Shannon, Associate Professor of Geology at the University of Liberia, spoke Wednesday, July 20, 2016 at the 2nd National Resource Day of the Kofi Annan Institute for Conflict Transformation held in the UL Auditorium on Capitol Hill.
He said out of that level of poverty is also evident poor people have limitation of political power and voice as well as extreme vulnerability to ill health, economic dislocation, violence and natural disaster. The former minister further noted the scourge of HIV/AIDS, frequency and brutality of civil conflicts, and rising disparities between rich countries and the developing world has increased the sense of deprivation and injustice for many.
“All of us must help to address this dismal world situation revealed eight years ago, but still realism today mainly within countries of sub-Saharan Africa, including Liberia,” he emphasized. According to him, the challenge of removing such scourge belongs to every Liberian, most especially those stepping out to manage Liberia.
Dr. Shannon said the production of oil and natural gas, ore, gold and diamonds are often associated with accelerated growth, and their production can in some instances generate social and economic development.
Addressing participants, he said the discovery of oil and other natural resources in Liberia should be considered an avenue of success and not a roadway to distress, adding Liberia’s energy and mining polices must not be a talking shop, but ones that are translated into actions for the sake of humanity and the call for increased social and economic justice.
He said the production of oil and national gas, Fe-ore, gold and diamonds can also bring about inequalities and expand the poverty gap, emphasizing that the trend wherein national resources become a means of increasing the wealth of the already wealthy and impoverishing the already impoverished must not be allowed to happen in emerging producing countries.
“Serious attention must be given to the plight of the poor who usually bear the greatest social costs but yet receive the least benefits,” he added Meanwhile, Minister Shannon has also stressed that total accountability to the people must be the number one priority in the management process of resources; and managing realistic and unrealistic public expectations can gain success in effective transparent frameworks such as the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative or(EITI)and the Publish What You Pay(PWP).
The EITI is a government’s transparency mechanism that reconciles payments made by companies in the extractive sector, and as it is received, and reported by the government.
By Zee Roberts-Editing by Jonathan Browne