Business News of Wednesday, 10 April 2013
Stakeholders at an Oil and Gas forum held on Tuesday in Accra have called for linkages between the oil and gas industry and other sectors of the economy to trigger equal growth of all the economic sectors.
The forum noted that such linkage would help Ghana to avoid the “Dutch Disease” menace that pushed Nigeria to abandon all other sectors of the economy leading to their collapse eventually because of the over reliance on the oil sector.
The public forum was organized by the Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC) for various civil society organizations, private sector, state agencies and researchers to discuss the likely economic impact of the oil and gas sector in Ghana.
It was on the theme: “Enhancing Stakeholders knowledge on the Economy-wide linkages of Ghana’s Oil and Gas Sector for poverty Reduction”.
The Executive Director, ISODEC Bishop Akologo said the forum was to help learn how the oil economy worked and map out possible linkages that politicians and various actors could adopt and implement to ensure a level playing field for all other sectors.
According to him, the expectation was that every “player” would understand the linkages and play its parts in the sector to help improve the quality of life of Ghanaians.
The Chief Executive officer, Sync Consult, a Management and Financial Services organization, Bennet Kpantey, said the salt industry could for instance be expanded to ensure that Ghana produced enough salt for commercial and industrial use, especially to feed the oil industry, which was among the highest consumer of salt in the world.
He suggested that instead of sticking to the old crude way of mining salt, there was the need to improve on the technology of salt production, which could be mined in all the coastal belts of the country.
He also advised the private sector to rise up to the occasion and adopt and apply best practices and standards since the oil and gas industry operated with international standards.
The Acting Chief Executive Officer, Petroleum Commission, Ghana, Nii Adzei-Akpor, emphasized the need for all industry players to come together and put the necessary measures in place to ensure a fair participation of local companies in the oil sector.
He said the Commission was currently reviewing the local content procurement packages of the various oil and gas companies in an effort to study them and ensure that such companies worked with the requisite regulations of employing the needed local people or firms to work in the industry.
The Chief Executive Officer, African Energy Consortium, Kwame Jantua also noted that local people should be trained right through the value chain to enable them to know how they could participate in the oil sector with its numerous field operations.