Petroleum Commission Tasked To Optimize Benefits Of Ghanaians Oil

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Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, Minister for Energy and Petroleum
Hon Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah,

Mr. Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, the Minister of Energy and Petroleum, says the development of local content was key in ensuring that Ghana?s oil becomes the bedrock of sustainable economic development.

Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, Minister for Energy and Petroleum
Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, Minister for Energy and Petroleum

He has therefore tasked the Petroleum Commission to strategize in optimizing the benefits of the petroleum resources among Ghanaians.

The Energy Minister was speaking at the third Local Content Workshop for SMEs on the topic ?Creating Opportunities for Local Content and Participation in the Upstream Petroleum Industry? at Takoradi.

He said Ghana had a huge potential to grow and transform its economy through industrialization, job creation and equitable distribution of wealth and the passage of the Local Content Bill sought to increase utilization of local expertise, goods and services and businesses along the petroleum value chain.

The Energy Minister said: ?in order to operationalize this, the Commission has developed medium term strategies to ensure the smooth implementation of the law. This includes the development of guidelines, templates and monitoring and evaluation systems.?

Currently, there are about 152 Ghanaian companies out of the 232 registered with the Commission and between 2008 and last quarter of 2014, approximately 584million dollars has been awarded in terms of contract to Ghanaian companies with 218 million dollars being oil related.

Mr. Theophilus Ahwireng, Acting Chief Executive of the Commission, said the Commission had developed National Internship Programme to provide graduates and technicians with the requisite skills and experience to address unemployment as well as bridge the skills gap in the oil sector.

He said he was not happy with the recent demonstrations in the sector and called on unions and companies to adopt appropriate conflict resolution strategies to avert the recurrence of the situation.

Mr. Ahwireng urged contractors to use the local content to grow indigenes business and SMEs in order to fully indigenize the sector.

Dr. Kwabena Donkor, Chairman of the Mines and Energy Committee in Parliament, said Ghana had been offered a new opportunity in terms of the oil resource to develop in a more sustainable manner for the benefit of posterity.

?All over the world, countries have used one means or the other to develop. It could be military rule, democracy or natural resources and Ghana has this last opportunity to make good use of the oil resource to advance in all angles?, he added.

Dr. Julliette Twumasi-Anokye, a Local Content Consultant with the Petroleum Commission, appealed to Ghanaian companies to work hard in making the Local Content policy a realistic one.

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