Mr Joseph Cudjoe, a Deputy Minister for Energy, has reiterated government’s commitment to the promotion of local content and participation in the petroleum industry.
He noted that the Government was bent on supporting the growth of the oil and gas industry and facilitating local participation.
The Local Content Policy outlines strategies on how the Government intends to develop the oil and gas industry with local participation to enhance national development, creating jobs and effectively managing the potential revenue from oil and gas production and processing.
Mr Cudjoe made the remarks in an interview with the Ghana News Agency on the sideline of the 2018 edition of Ghana Energy Sector Annual Ball (GESAB) in Accra.
The event was organised by Blackpool Entertainment in collaboration with the Ghana Oil and Gas Service Providers Association (GPGSPA).
Mr Cudjoe said the promotion of the Local Content Policy was being done through compliance with the laws of the country specifically Legislative Instrument (LI) 2204 and other regulations that have been enacted to guide activities in the industry.
He noted that the Ministry was also building capacities of indigenous Ghanaian companies as well as Ghanaians who were operating in the sector; citing the “Accelerated Oil and Gas Capacity Building Programme”.
He said the programme in the course of its implementation would target the middle level skilled development such as welding, electrical and mechanical.
Mr Cudjoe said the Petroleum Commission, under the law, had opened the Local Content Fund account into which some contributions would come to facilitate capacity building and enhancement of local capacity in the oil and gas industry.
He recounted that all these and other policies put together would ensure that Ghanaians actively participated in the sector and benefit from the oil and gas resources.
Mr Jonas Ayi, Vice President of GOGSPA, told the Ghana News Agency that among challenges the Association had, was access to funds for their members, saying they could not compete with international companies who had access to funds on an interest rate of three per cent, as compared to 35 per cent interest rate in Ghana.
Mr Ayi, who called for government’s intervention, again, underscored the need for government to implement all the legal conditions within the Local Content regulations.
Adding that this would ensure international oil companies adhered strictly to the implementation of the local content.
He noted that at the last Local Content Conference in Takoradi, participants recognised what Ghanaians could do when they were given the opportunities.
He said Ghanaians who have managed to get access to business within the sector were developing the country, and this was where there was retention of capital and retention of development within the country.
Mr Albert Cephas Tetteh, a representative of Blackpool Entertainment, also described GESAB as a function to foster and strengthen interpersonal relationships, build loyalty, celebrate work done by all stakeholders and bring together captains of industry who have immensely contributed to Ghana’s energy sector.
He said this year they decided to partner GOGSPA because they were mostly indigenous companies, who were helping out in the energy sector with respect to oil and gas, adding that “we are hopeful of opening our arms to more players in the industry”.