The government of Singapore has agreed to a proposal from the Minister of Energy and Petroleum Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah for 15 engineers and 40 technicians to undertake various training programs in oil and gas to enable them return to Ghana with the country’s second floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) unit and manage it.
Mr Kofi Buah was able to seal the deal in a discussion with Mr S Iswaran, Singapore’s Second Minister for Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Trade and Industry after series of deliberations over permits and nature of training programs.
Explaining what caused the delay in granting permit to the technicians and engineers, Mr Iswaran said it is inevitable for a country like Singapore to bring people from other countries to complement their expertise; however, their challenge was making sure they add value and not put strain on their resources.
He added that the Singapore government is making frantic efforts to tighten laws relating to Singapore companies and institutions engaging foreigners, nevertheless, after considering diplomatic and trade relationship between the two countries over the years and Singapore’s quest to contribute to the development of Ghana in particular, the 15 engineers were granted one year permit each while the 40 technicians were granted six months permit.
Mr S Iswaran commended Armah-Kofi Buah for his leadership role in putting in place legislations and setting up institutions such as the Petroleum Commission and the passage of the Local Content Policy to ensure transparency and active participation of indigenous companies in the oil and gas sector.
The Energy and Petroleum Minister on his part commended Singapore Government for its role in ensuring Ghana becomes a hub for oil and gas in Sub Sahara Africa, describing Singapore as one of Ghana’s sources of strength in the oil and gas industry.
He noted that government has been keen on arranging training programs in oil and gas because “we want Ghanaians to be in charge of the second FPSO when it arrives in Ghana and also prepare for a transition process in order for as many Ghanaians as possible to spearhead activities in the oil and gas sector in the near future”.
Mr Buah underscored the need for governments in Africa to work towards connecting businesses to each other to understand themselves for successful partnerships.
The Minister also mentioned measures government is putting in place to ensure that the engineers and technicians to be trained in Singapore are “bonded” and will return on completion of their programs to contribute to the growth of Ghana’s oil and gas industry.
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