Energy Minister Dr Joe Oteng- Agyei said government is committed to encourage partnership in the oil and gas industry for the total development of local expertise.
In this direction, he said, entities with non-Ghanaian ownership and operations, must provide for the participation of Ghanaian citizens with interest of at least five per cent in the exploration and production, storage, transportation and processing activities under petroleum licenses.
Additionally, a foreign entity which seeks to provide goods and services in the petroleum industry must operate from Ghana and partner with a Ghanaian owned and registered company.
The entity must also provide at least 10 per cent equity to the Ghanaian partner.
Dr Oteng- Agyei was speaking at the 3rd Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) Local content Oil & Gas Exhibition and Conference on the theme: “Local Content Partnerships – The Success Stories.”
The objective of the event is to create an environment that supports and promotes supply chain development with the view of harnessing and utilising the capabilities of local suppliers and related service providers.
Dr Oteng- Agyei said the capacity of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the oil and gas sector needed to be enhanced to enable them meet the stringent requirements including management, financial controls, health and safety standards and quality control to do business with the international oil and gas companies.
He said plans were far advanced to establish an SME office in Takoradi to become the focal point for co-ordination between the oil and gas companies and SMEs.
The office will provide support to SMEs so that they can position themselves to take advantage of business opportunities that are available in the oil and gas sector.
It will also undertake capacity building of SME’s and will assist in marketing their capabilities, liaise with international Oil and Gas Companies and Service Providers by being a focal point for procurement opportunities and also establish a single pre-qualification process acceptable to all International Oil Companies and Service Providers, among others.
Dr Oteng- Agyei emphasised that the Ghanaian local content policy and law was not designed to nationalise foreign assets or to indigenise the industry.
He said, by domiciling services and building local capacity, there would be certainty of supply for industry projects and support for life cycle operations.
“Government has taken a firm stand on this strategy mindful of the fact that the initial cost increase associated with the Local Content objectives will result in savings in the medium term when the key inputs are available in Ghana,” the Minister said.
He said by insisting on doing more in Ghana, the nation would create opportunities for training, knowledge sharing and technology transfer which are key indicators to a rapid and sustainable growth of the Ghanaian economy.
“As a country, Ghana expects to do more to ensure that her hydrocarbon resources are harnessed for the development of the economy and enhance the wellbeing of its citizens,” he said.
Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources (Mines) Mr Kwadwo Owusu-Agyemang said the local content challenge required not only legal and regulatory framework but active collaboration and support from industry players.
President of the AGI, Nana Owusu Afari, urged stakeholders to work towards the development of local content policies across all aspects of economic development, especially in areas such as aviation, marine and road transport.
There is also the need to build the capacities of regulatory authorities to ensure smooth implementation.
He also urged local companies to build their own capacities so that they would be able to take advantage of opportunities available through the implementation of the local content policy.