Ghana’s oil and gas sector needs more local engineers, especially in the upstream sector, to reduce the over-reliance on expatriates and ensure sustainable transfer of knowledge, George Yaw Owusu, CEO of Mansa Holdings, has said.
Mr. Owusu, who was part of the team that explored and first drilled oil in the Jubilee Fields, noted that despite Ghana benefitting significantly from the discovery of oil, not many local engineers can be found at the upstream level.
“Ghana is making about a US$1billion in revenue from oil and in an economy like this, we know what a US$1billion means. Schools, hospitals and roads are being built with the oil money. I am glad we are no longer over-reliant on cocoa and gold and it is always good to get new commodities.
But what is happening is that because most of our engineers lack the practical aspect of the oil industry, we still have expatriates coming in to do the engineering works and making lots of monies and taking all that money back to their countries meanwhile Ghanaians are still walking down the street and selling dog chains,” he said.
Speaking to the B&FT at the fifth Ghana Oil & Gas Awards (GOGA), where he was awarded the ‘Outstanding Contribution to Oil Discovery in Ghana, Mr. Owusu said he has established a company that is recruiting a lot of local engineers and training and equipping them to work in the upstream sector of the petroleum industry.
“What I have done is to set up an engineering company to train as many engineers as possible. The whole aim is to train as many young men and women as practical engineers to benefit from the oil discovery.
We are hiring as many Ghanaians as we can and we take some overseas to get them the best training. I want to make sure they benefit from what we have. We will be training mostly upstream engineers because I have never worked in the downstream. I have worked in the exploration and drilling industry for decades,” he said.
The fifth edition of GOGA, organised by Xodus Communications, brought together players in the oil and gas industry while recognising achievements from local and international companies that have played defining roles in moving the industry forward.
Chief Executive of Xodus Communication explained that the awards is a platform for the oil and gas industry to demonstrate and celebrate the advances made in the key areas of environment stewardship, efficiency, innovation, leadership, corporate social responsibility and health and safety.
“GOGA is a perfect opportunity to raise the profile of stakeholders within the context of this important industry, gain peer recognition and further heighten visibility with a professional audience. It represents a cross-section of the economy ranging from government, regulators, oil and gas stakeholders, civil society, downstream, upstream, financial institutions and more,” he said.
A total of 33 companies and 13 individuals were honoured at the event which came off at the Kempinski Hotel, Accra.
They include Promising Oil and Gas Company, Tel Energy; Oil and Gas Financial Service Provider, Ecobank Ghana; Oil Marketing Company, GOIL; Oil and Gas Personality (Downstream), Ivy Apea Owusu, Cirrus Oil Services; Oil and Gas Logistics Company, Bajfreight Logistics; Haulage Company, James K. Ahiadome Transport; Lubricant Product, Puma Lubricants; Local Content Initiative, Modec Production Services; Oil and Gas Institution, Rigworld Training Centre; and LPG Marketing Company, Hills Oil Marketing Company.
Oil and Gas Service (Catering), Transatlantic Service; Oil and Gas Service (Shipping), Adonai Shipping; Oil and Gas Service (Lifting), Jonmoore International; Oil and Gas Service (Bunkering) AI Energy; Excellence in CSR (Downstream), Total Petroleum; Excellence in CSR (Upstream), ENI Ghana Exploration and Production; Excellence in HSEQ (Downstream), J.K Horgle Transport and Company; Excellence in HSEQ (Upstream), Technip FMC; Emerging Brand, Puma Energy; Brand of the Year, Vivo Energy; and Best Growing Oil and Gas Company, Petroleum Solutions, (Petrosol).
Engineering/Construction Company (Upstream), Technip FMC; Engineering/Construction Company (Downstream), Meridian Logistics and Engineering; Oil and Gas Insurer, Star Assurance; Policy Activist, Institute for Energy Security (IES); Petroleum Retailer, Manbah Gas; Outstanding Performance in Lifting LPG, Sage Distribution; Social Investment and Sustainability Award, Kosmos Energy; Marketing Campaign, Total Troxi Club; Depot, Tema Multiple Products Terminal (TMPT); Bulk Oil Distributor, Juwel Energy; Indigenous Oil Company (Downstream), Juwel Energy; Indigenous Oil Company (Upstream), Adonai Shipping; and Onshore Support Base, Consolidated Shipping Agencies.
CEO of the Year (Downstream), Michael Bozumbil, Petroleum Solutions (Petrosol); CEO of the Year (Upstream), Dr. MacDonald C. Vasnani, Consolidated Shipping Agencies; Entrepreneur of Year (Upstream), Abigail Asolange Harley, AI Energy; Entrepreneur of Year (Downstream) James K. Ahiadome; Rising Star, Elinam Abla Horgli; Entrepreneurial Excellence Award, Emmanuel Egyei-Mensah; Lifetime Achievement Award, Alfred Fafali Adagbedu (Seaweld Engineering Service); Leadership Award, Alhassan Tampuli (CEO of National Petroleum Authority); Young Achiever Award, Kevin Okyere; and Woman of Excellence, Ivy Manly-Spain.