The annual report on average annual salaries in the global oil and gas industry for the year 2013 indicates that Ghanaian workers in that industry are among the least paid in the world today.
The report was jointly compiled by oil and gas recruitment experts, Hays Oil and Gas, and industry researchers, Oil and Gas Job Search. It is published on the website of Hays Oil and Gas.
The 2013 report, which also contains an outlook on 2014, looked at 24 industry disciplines, sampled more than 7,200 employers and 24,000 other respondents in the industry across 53 countries.
It showed that average salaries for locals in Sudan, Vietnam and Ghana were the lowest in the world, compared with what expats in those countries take.
Sudan was the lowest with US$24,100 average annual salary for locals, compared with US$77,000 for expats, which indicate a 219.5% disparity between locals and expats in that country.
Oil and gas companies in Vietnam pay the second lowest salaries to locals. The locals in that country get an average annual salary of US$26,600 compared with a US$142,200 for expat. The difference is a whopping 434.59%.
Meanwhile, Ghanaians in the industry get US$26,800 averagely every year, which compared unfavorably with the US$128,500 that their expat counterparts get every year. This shows a disparity of 379.48%.
Meanwhile, both locals and expats work under similar hazardous conditions on offshore facilities.
The report also shows, in at least four of the 53 countries; Canada, Netherlands, Norway and United Kingdom, locals were paid higher than their expat counterparts.
The highest paid locals are the Norwegians; they get US$179,200 per annum, compared with US$110,400 for expats working in that country. In Canada, locals got 130,000, while the expats got US$119,200. In the UK, locals got US$94,200, and the expats got US$91,800; while in the Netherlands the local got US$111,000 as against US$101,500 for expats.
Meanwhile, in Africa, South Africa pays the highest salaries to locals. It stood at US$63,100 compared with US$76,300 paid to expats in that country, while Australia paid the highest salaries to expats; US$164,000 per annum, and India paid the lowest to expats; US$63,700.
The figures also showed that the lowest paid to expats, which was US$63,700 in India, was still higher than the highest paid to Africans, which was the US$63,100 in South Africa.
In its executive summary, the report indicated that generally, oil and gas industry salaries dropped across the globe in 2013, adding that, it was necessary because salaries had increased for two consecutive years prior to 2013.
Indeed, in 2011 Ghana did not show up in the Hays report, but in 2012 the average annual salaries for locals in Ghana stood US$40,200, and it increased to US$40,500 in 2013 before it fell to the current 26,800. Meanwhile, in 2012 that of expats in Ghana stood at US$139,00 and it dropped to US$121,600 in 2013 before rising again to US$128,500 early this year.
The report also noted there were concerns with infrastructure, needed skills among locals, political and economic instability, security and corruption in Africa, which slowed down investment in the continent’s oil and gas industry, despite the fact that the continent supplies 20% of the world’s oil and holds 8% of deep water reserves.
The Hays report however encouraged investors to still put more money into Africa because the potential on the continent, particularly in the east, outweighs the concerns.
Meanwhile, in Ghana, local workers on various offshore facilities have been agitating against generally low salaries and pointing accusing fingers at offshore vessel owners and recruitment agencies as shortchanging the locals.
Since the agitations started, a number of recruitment agencies and rig owners have topped up the salaries of locals, while the regulator plans to meet all the industry stakeholders and thrash out the issue of salaries once and for all.
Adom News has been speaking with Marketing and Communications Officer of Petroleum Commission Ghana (PCG), Eddy Nartey, who said the Hays report was a good guide to what pertain in Ghana and other parts of the word, and would be taken onboard the discussion towards arriving at properly structure salary scheme for offshore workers.
He noted however that, Ghana’s oil industry is relatively young so it stands to reason that salaries would be relatively lower compared with other countries.
Eddy Nartey explained that Ghana’s upstream oil industry lacks enough top level human resource, and so the expats tend to occupy those top positions, which come with way bigger salaries that what locals earn.
He was confident that with the next five years or more, Ghanaians working offshore would be earning way higher salaries.
“It is important to note that for most countries expats are paid way higher than locals and with Ghana we are looking beyond the immediate financial benefits for local workers to the capacity building that will make our locals prepared to work offshore anywhere else in the world even when Ghana has no more oil,” he argued.
Meanwhile, the CEO of Seaweld Ghana, one of the local recruitment agencies, Alfred Fafali Adagbedu has been telling Adom Business lots of Ghanaian offshore workers are paid higher than their Ivorian counterparts.
He also noted that salaries in the industry largely depend on the individual worker’s experience, saying “you could forinstance have two Roustabouts taking completely different salaries because one has more experience than the other.”
Adagbedu stated that “what the local workers should understand is that while they pay just about 24% income tax in Ghana, the expats pay 58% income tax in their home countries where they were employed. So if an expat receives $10,000 he only gets to keep $4,200.”
He said at Seaweld, there is an open book policy where the rig owners get to see the salary slips of local workers to verify that they are being paid exactly what the rig owners give.
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