GNPC reiterates commitment to local content development

By Iddi Yire, GNA

Accra, Oct. 10, GNA –
The Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) says it is committed to playing
its role in the development of local content within the domestic and regional
upstream petroleum space.

Dr Kofi Koduah
Sarpong, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GNPC, said notwithstanding known
challenges like access to affordable finance and infrastructural deficits, the
Corporation is committed to ensuring the development of national capacities in
all aspects of the petroleum operations.

He said in Ghana, the
National Petroleum Commission leads in ensuring compliance with regulations and
laws adding that African countries need a strong watchdog to ensure compliance.

Dr Sarpong said this
on Thursday at the opening of the Third Africa Oil and Gas Local Content
Sustainability Summit (ALC2019) in Accra.

The event was held
under the theme: “Shaping the Future through Sustainable Local Content
Policies”.

ALC2019 is the third
annual continent-wide policy response initiative and platform that brings
together regional decision-makers and relevant stakeholders. 

The key objective of
the two-day event is the promotion of increased local value addition and
participation in the oil and gas industry supply chain, to achieve the transfer
of skills, capacity building and economic development.

Dr Sarpong said with
a mandate to harness Ghana’s hydrocarbon resources for national development,
GNPC believes that regional cooperation and collaboration are critical to
leveraging each other’s experience and knowledge to further develop not only
domestic but also regional local content strategies for their mutual benefit.

He said Ghana has
already entered into a memorandum of understanding with Sierra Leone and The
Gambia, adding that similar agreements would soon be signed with Liberia and
Guyana.

“Collectively, we
have a duty to ensure that local content policy ideas and strategies that will
emerge from this conference are shared and translated into workable solutions,
backed by the necessary legislation that would ensure compliance and translate
them into values for our people. This is no time to have paper tigers – but
rather, policies, backed by legislations that work.”

He said the petroleum
industry’s renewed focus on leveraging natural resources by creating linkages
to other sectors of domestic and regional economies was the key driving force
behind many of their local content policies and strategies.

Dr Sarpong said
currently, GNPC has aligned its local content closely with its corporate social
investments, allowing for a more streamlined approach to building national
capacities through education and training, the development of skills and
technology, as well as economically empowering the localities in which they
operate.

He said as a way of
ensuring the existence of a pool of local human resource for the industry value
chain, they have expanded the base of GNPC’s scholarship awards to
undergraduate students in the areas of science, technology, engineering and
mathematics in order to build a strong foundation for increased local capacity.

He said GNPC has also
established Professorial Chairs in four of Ghana’s universities with general
purpose of equipping students from educational institutions to fill technical
and research gaps within the upstream oil and gas space.

Mr John Peter Amewu,
Energy Minister, in a speech read on his behalf, said local content is a
development strategy aimed at increasing the benefits from oil and gas sector
and translating them to other sectors of the economy.

He said the
Government is committed to ensuring that the value from the finite resource
accruing to people was enhanced, through policies and regulations.

Mr Egbert Faibille
Jnr, CEO, Petroleum Commission, in a speech read on his behalf, said regional
cooperation and collaboration was very critical for African countries to
harness the benefits of the petroleum industry.

He said Ghana’s
strategy was that, the oil and gas industry must not be taken in isolation, if
it was to propel national development.

Mr M. Mahaman Laouan
Gaya, African Petroleum Producers Organisation (APPO), tasked APPO member
countries to set-up national local content experts to act as relays for the
organisation to periodically assess the progress of objectives set for horizon
2030.

GNA

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