A team of journalists from the Institute of Financial and Economic Journalists (IFEJ) Tuesday sensitized residents of the Volta Region, some 166 km east of Accra, on activities in the Keta Basin.
The journalists are in the region to lead discussions geared towards raising people’s awareness on critical issues as well as expanding and increasing local participation in possible oil find in the Keta Basin where exploration activities is ongoing.
Speaking on Global FM, a local radio station Mr. Rayborn Bulley, President of IFEJ observed exploration activities on the Keta Basin was on great importance to the people hence the need for people to be sensitized to acquire the relevant skills necessary for the oil and gas industry.
He entreated the teeming youth and other service providers to prepare themselves ahead of possible oil in order to avert xenophobic attacks by indigenous people on non-natives and foreigners on account of taking over their jobs.
The IFEJ President also urged journalists to take interest in oil and gas reporting so as to better appreciate issues in the sector which is quite complex and technical.
This, he emphasized was the only way through which journalists would be able to explain issues better to the people in their reportage.
Programme Manager for IFEJ, Ms. Naa Torshie Torto stressed on the need for constant engagement between the Ghana National Petroleum Commission (GNPC), the Petroleum Commission (PC), the media and the people so as to manage their expectations.
Member of IFEJ, Francis Tandoh urged the civil society organizations in the region to be proactive in order to compel the government to put in place measures to ensure a possible oil find in the area inures to the benefit of the people and the country.
The Ghanaian government and the GNPC, the state oil company in April 2016 established a joint partnership venture with the Swiss African Oil Company Limited and PET Volta Investments to commence exploration of the Keta basin.
The Keta basin is part of the larger Voltain basin (the biggest landmass of Ghana, occupying one-third of the whole country) from the coast through to the middle belt to the north of Ghana.
The bloc is estimated to cover an area of 3000 square kilometres with about hundred million barrels of oil.
The project, if successful is estimated to create employment for the youth in some 35 communities within the basin’s catchment area.
The challenges however is, the industry is a specialized field that requires specific skills for labour and does not provide mass employment as compared to the manufacturing and existing sectors of the economy.
Exploration activities are however going to create competition with agriculture, fishing, wildlife and human settlement.
It is against this background that IEFJ with support from Learning into Practice Awards by ELLA Latin America are creating awareness on how to promote local business involvement in the industry, create synergy of oil and gas with other sectors of the economy.
The rest are to discuss environment, social, economic and business impact of on-shore oil production as well as manage the expectations of the people.
The journalists who have been in the region since Monday March 21 2017 will be here till Friday to interact with communities in the area to find out their concerns on oil and gas exploration. Enditem
Source: Francis Tandoh