President pledges to increase local content participation in oil and gas industry
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has pledged government's commitment to pursuing initiatives to expand local participation in all aspects of the oil and gas industry.
"Ghanaians have the spirit of entrepreneurship, and it is vital that they are empowered to engineer business growth, and reduce the serious unemployment situation in the country," he added.
President Akufo-Addo made this known after turning on the valves on the FPSO John Agyekum Kufuor to signal the formal production of oil in commercial quantities from the Sankofa oil and gas fields.
The President said: "It is gratifying to see, our young Ghanaians on the FPSO, trained to manage the hydrocarbon production and processing from the Field as technicians and supervisors. I have been informed by the Petroleum Commission that over 100 Ghanaians (representing nearly 60%) are involved in the operation and maintenance of the FPSO John Agyekum Kufuor."
This number, he indicated, is in addition to the many that worked in the conversion of the facility in Singapore, adding that "I saw them on the vessel, and salute them for their energy, enthusiasm and commitment. They are excellent examples of Ghanaian youth."
Indeed, more than US$1.8 billion worth of contracts have been awarded to indigenous Ghanaian companies under this project.
President Akufo-Addo, thus, urged ENI and its partners to continue to work with the Petroleum Commission to move Ghanaian participation to even greater heights.
Additionally, the second phase of the Sankofa project will rely on the support services of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as part of the supply chain development, thereby creating opportunities for new and existing businesses in the country.
"In particular, for those engaged in farming and fishing, this project presents a great opportunity to a new market, as many people employed under this project will need to be fed. I urge our youth to go into farming under our Planting for Food and Jobs Programme, and other activities to take advantage of this opportunity," President Akufo-Addo noted.
The Sankofa project, and other existing ones in the Western Region, the President was confident "will open up the region for infrastructural development and consequent economic growth. This is in line with the grand plan of making the Western Region a key growth pole for the country.
He urged partners of the Offshore Cape Three Point (OCTP) to ensure prudent management of the Sankofa oil and gas project to achieve cost efficiency adding that this is the only way low gas prices can be guaranteed, and, eventually, low electricity tariffs to stimulate development.
"With the addition of the production from the OCTP to those of the T.E.N and Jubilee fields, we are optimistic that our beloved nation will enhance significantly its gas supply for our domestic power generation," the President said.
Not resting on its oars, President Akufo-Addo stressed that government through the Ministry of Energy, Petroleum Commission and GNPC, is working closely with other licensees and contractors to ensure that the country's petroleum resources are exploited in a sustainable manner for the benefit of the people of Ghana.
"The need for creative thinking to leverage our oil and gas production for national development is a charge for us to keep - and we must not fail our people," he remarked.