The Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) has pledged to support four universities with one million dollars for promotion of science, technology, engineering and mathematics as key ingredients for capacity building.
Each of the four universities would receive US$250,000 annually for the next four years, which is in line with the GNPC’s investment plan, including education and training, environment and social sustainability, and economic empowerment.
The beneficiaries include; the University of Ghana (UG), the University of Cape Coast (UCC), the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT).
Dr Kwame Baah-Nuakoh, the General Manager for Sustainability at the GNPC, made the disclosure at the Sixth Edition of the Ghana Economic Outlook and Business Strategy Conference in Accra, on the theme: ‘‘10 years of Oil and Gas: ‘‘Challenges and Prospects’’.
The forum was organised by the Africa Business Media Network, publishers of the Ghana Business and Finance Magazine, which brought together industry players, including regulators, service providers, operators, civil society organisations and government officials.
The event provided a platform for stakeholders in the oil and gas industry to deliberate on the successes, challenges and prospects of the petroleum industry and to chart the way forward.
Dr Baah-Nuakoh said the funds would be used to upgrade the science laboratories and other facilities of the selected departments in the four universities.
The Geosciences Department of the University of Ghana, the Petrochemical Engineering of the KNUST and the Mining Engineering Department of the UMaT as well as the Petroleum Commerce Department of the UCC would be upgraded into world class status, he stated.
He pointed out that, parts of the funds would be used for research, upgrading of facilities and offer scholarships to students.
Dr Baah-Nuakoh said, this year, the GNPC Foundation awarded 880 Ghanaian students with scholarships in 20 universities in the country, which covered their tuition, living expenses, book allowances, and dissertation allowances.
At the secondary school level, Dr Baah-Nuakoh said the GNPC Foundation was providing science laboratories, sanitary facilities and potable water and that 15 second cycle institutions were expected to benefit.
He said the GNPC was providing 60 boreholes to 60 communities in the northern, Upper East and Upper Regions to resolve the perennial shortage of water in those areas.
He added that, out of the 100 boreholes that would be constructed this year, 60 per cent would go to the north, 20 per cent in the Western Region and 20 per cent in other deprived communities across the country.
On sports development, Dr Baah-Nuakoh said the GNPC would construct five artificial pitches this year, to support the government’s agenda to enhance sporting activities.
He said, the GNPC would support people within its catchment areas by providing market opportunities, access to credit and farm inputs to farmers and fishermen.
The Sustainability General Manager of the GNPC said the Corporation had decided to use its corporate plan in a holistic and integrated approach, which was linked to its business strategy for long-term survival and that would make meaningful impact on the society.