Mr Edward Appiah-Brafoh, Principal Human Resource and Administrative Officer of Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), on Wednesday said the Corporation would establish a fabrication yard in partnership with the private sector in 2013.
He said this would not only provide job opportunities for the youth, but serve as an avenue for training, skills development and provide procurement services to oil and gas companies in the country.
In addtion, it would provide Ghana with additional revenue and save oil companies from the stress of importation of operation equipments.
Mr Appiah-Brafoh announced this when addressing a forum at the on-going 63rd Annual New Year School and Conference organised by the Institute of Continuing and Distance Education of University of Ghana in Accra on the theme: “One Year of Oil and Gas Production: Emerging Issues”.
He said Ghana was in the process of becoming one of the leading oil and gas producers with the discovery of 14 new oil resources in various areas apart from the Jubilee field production and needed to explore all the opportunities available to harness the benefits for national development.
Mr Appiah-Brafoh expressed concern about the low equity participation of local companies in the oil and gas Industry in Ghana.
He said while the country seemed to be doing well in several new oil discoveries, its local companies seemed to be left in the dark with numerous challenges such as lack of bulk financial capital and human resource capacity to meet the high demands of management and operation.
Mr Appiah-Brafoh was optimistic that the passage of Ghana’s Local Content Policy would help address such challenges, and therefore called for support in capacity building and skills development as the way forward to equip Ghanaian industries to fully and effectively participate in the oil sector.
He said conscious plans and strategies for the future must include at least five per cent equity participation by Ghana’s private sector, while preference must be given to local companies who would want to venture into the oil and gas business.
Mr Appiah-Brafoh expressed concern about the financial limitation as a result of the high cost of accessing credit, inadequate technology in respect to upstream petroleum activities preventing effective local participation in upstream petroleum sector in Ghana.
He advised the youth not to be too optimistic about direct job opportunities in the oil and gas industry, but explore the numerous opportunities that existed in other soft areas of the sector such as the hospitality, artisanal, educational, catering and entertainment sectors for their development.
Mr Appiah-Brafoh said government must use some of the oil revenue to develop its domestic sector and other areas such as health, education and infrastructure to ensure that all sectors were fully protected.