An Accelerated Oil and Gas Capacity [AOGC] Program has been launched with a call on the people especially the youth to take advantage of the massive opportunities been provided by the oil and gas industry.
The AOGC Program which is being spearheaded by the Ministry of Energy and funded by the World Bank and the Norwegian Government is aimed at equipping Ghanaians with the skills and competences required by the oil and gas sector.
Launching the program in Accra on Tuesday, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo , noted that the Program is in fulfillment of promises he made during the 2016 electioneering campaign to build the capacity of local firms and the people.
The President promised that his Government will put in place all necessary mechanisms to ensure the success of the program and to also ensure that Ghanaians find themselves at the forefront of the oil and gas industry. ‘’ We are determined to expand opportunities in the industry, and to use it as a
catalyst for rapid transformation of our country’’.
"We want to make sure that our country runs a successful oil and gas regime , and my government will do everything possible to achieve this feet", The President pointed out.
According to the President, Ghana would follow in the footsteps of successful oil and gas countries that have put in place deliberate policies and programs to ensure active participation of their nationals in the sector.` He mentioned that the surest way to engage Ghanaians to actively participate in the oil and gas industry is through capacity building so as to take up opportunities in the industry.
He promised to further ensure that the industry serve as a major source of employment for the teeming masses of the Ghanaian youth , an initiative which is in line with the NPP Government’s objective.
The President however bemoaned the situation in which many locals have not acquired the requisite technical expertise to meet the often and high standards set out by oil the oil companies.
He therefore explained that the AOGC Program will guarantee that local service providers and personnel are given the requisite skills and technical know-how, from entrepreneurship to engineering, to strengthen their effective participation in the sector and other related industries.
To that end, he further revealed that the Ministry of Energy had already laid out a plan under the program to train one thousand Ghanaians annually to gain various technical skills and that two hundred Small Scale Enterprises [SMEs]will also be provided with the capacity to gain a competitive advantage in the industry. Some three hundred employees in the public sectors are also adequately prepared to support the development of oil and gas policies as well as the enforcement of industry regulations.
With the view to achieving the objective of accelerating exploration, government also plans to partner local and international oil and gas exploration companies to take up more acreage in Ghana’s offshore basins whilst the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation [GNPC] has also embarked on aggressive onshore seismic campaigns for future development on the Voltain Basin.
He therefore urged the Energy Ministry to expedite work on the development of the General Petroleum Regulations to ensure the applications of open and competitive public tender processes provided in Section 10 of the Petroleum Act, 919, for the award of petroleum rights.
On his part, the Vice Chancellor of the Regional Maritime University, Prof. Elvis Nyarko commended the government for its support to the university over the years and pleaded for assistance to complete a seven storey GETFUND project which has been stalled for the past nine years.
He mentioned inadequate infrastructure and the encroachment on the lands of the university by estate developers as key challenges bedeviling the school. He therefore called on the government to assist them address the aforementioned and other challenges facing them.
The Regional Maritime University established in 1958, has positioned itself as a center of excellence to train and produce distinguished products for the various sectors of the Ghanaian and the sub-regional economies.
He noted that his outfit will play their role adequately to ensure the success of the program and other programs been run in the school and further called on the Energy Ministry to take interest in the programs and offer further assistance