President Nana Akufo-Addo on Wednesday cut the sod for the commencement of construction of the Operational Headquarters of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation.
This is in fulfilment of a key manifesto pledge made by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to the people of the Western Region, in the run-up to the conduct of the December 2016 elections, a pledge reiterated by then President-Elect Akufo-Addo to the Western Regional House of Chiefs on December 27, 2016.
Indeed, on page 44 of the 2016 NPP Manifesto, the NPP pledged to position Western Region “into a regional oil services hub with a first-class port facility, as well as positioning it as an efficient centre for back-office support for the oil industry in the West African region, including the relocation of the headquarters of GNPC to the region.”
“Nananom, I am here, this afternoon, to cut the sod for the commencement of construction works on a seven-storey modern office complex, spanning about 7,000 square metres of floor space, to be used as the operational headquarters of GNPC,” he said.
But for the protracted search for suitable land for this office, and the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the President told the gathering that the project would have been, by now, at an advanced stage.
“I appreciate the effort of the Western Regional Minister, the Western Regional House of Chiefs, and the Regional Lands Commission, for making it possible for this project to commence.
Once completed, the building will have a 300-seater auditorium, a gymnasium, a cafeteria and a business centre on the ground floor,” he said.
The President continued, “The upper floors will provide office spaces for GNPC and other potential tenants, especially in the oil and gas value chain.
The building will also have a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification, and will achieve energy efficiency through the use of solar energy.
It will be a smart office, and it will be one of the most advanced buildings, and, indeed, one of a kind in Sekondi-Takoradi.”
To be constructed at a cost of $25 million, over a two-year period, the President urged the contractor, Messrs Sienna Services, to ensure timely delivery of the project.
Expressing his delight at the many projects being undertaken by GNPC, through the GNPC Foundation headquartered in Takoradi in the Western Region, President Akufo-Addo said the Foundation has also been focused on capacity building, through the awards of scholarships, research funding for universities, and training of artisans.
“It is supporting artisanal training for masons, mechanics, carpenters, electricians, hairdressers, dressmakers etc. to enable them obtain certification from the National Vocational Training Institute.
It is good that the Western Region is benefitting from many of the initiatives undertaken by the GNPC Foundation, as the oil and gas resources that generate the revenues of the Corporation are currently located off the shores of the Western Region,” he added.
Thanking the Chiefs for their support, President Akufo-Addo said “I look forward to commissioning this building upon its completion, God willing, in 2022, because ‘One Good Term Deserves Another’.
Hopefully, by the grace of God, it will be four more for Nana and the NPP.”