Petroleum Commission promises more local participation in industry

The Petroleum Commission (PC) says it is committed to ensuring that more locals participate in the country’s oil and gas industry to improve their living conditions and that of their families.

Mrs. Agatha Enos Armah, Contract and Procurement Administrator at the Local Content Department of the PC spoke on the five pillars of the local content  which includes, maximizing the use of Ghanaian goods, employment of Ghanaian professionals as well as the provision of technology.

She was speaking at a two day program to educate stakeholders on the processes involved in oil exploration, benefits as well as how it can create employment for the youth.

Stakeholders were however urged to train the youth of the area and equip them  with the necessary skills so that they can benefit from the oil exploration when it begins in the Volta Region. 

She observed the country missed an opportunity to fashion out appropriate local content legislation to regulate its mining and telecommunications sector as well as when it began commercial production of oil.

The negative repercussions, according to her, were dire as most locals in resource-rich communities lost out completely from benefiting from the industry in their own environs.

Mrs. Enos Armah assured the people of the Volta Region that the government has learnt from its past hence introduced the Local Content Law, L.I. 2204 to ensure more Ghanaians participate in the country’s oil and gas industry.

She urged local residents to prepare themselves by way of training to acquire relevant skills necessary to partake in the oil and gas industry.

“There are certain services like catering, fabrication, logistics, and procurement services among others that have been reserved for Ghanaians and so let us take advantage of the opportunity this time so that we equally benefit from the resource.”

The third quarter report of the PC indicates that a total of 776 companies have been registered to provide direct and indirect services for the oil and gas industry in the country.

Out of the figure, 480 are indigenous companies, 201 are foreign while 95 are joint venture companies.

A total of 6800 jobs, made up of 4905 Ghanaians representing 73 percent and 1890 expatriates representing 27 percent have been created so far.

Mr. Greenfield Selorm Dogbevia, Geophysicist of Ghana National Petroleum Company (GNPC) appealed to the chiefs and other stakeholders to accept engineers that will come and carry out activities pertaining to oil exploration at the Keta Basin because it will be of great benefit to the community.

He said even though the oil exploration benefits will take a while there is the need for the people to get adequate training before the exploration begins.

Togbui  Dallah-Avege III, Chief of Anloga-Labati, asked the Ghanaian government to conduct and provide a detailed environmental impact assessment on exploration activities at the Keta basin to the people.

Mr. Rayborn Bulley, President of the Institute of Financial and Economic Journalists (IFEJ), expressed his gratitude to the locals for their high level of participation towards understanding issues pertaining to the petroleum sector.

He assured his outfit was committed to ensuring more of such advocacy engagements with the people which he said could greatly help in managing their high expectations.

The oil and gas advocacy programme was organized by the IFEJ with support from Evidence and Lessons from Latin America (ELLA), the Ghana National Petroleum Commission (GNPC) and the PC.