The General Transport, Petroleum and Chemical Workers’ Union (GTPCWU), has expressed satisfaction over the performance of the nascent Oil and Gas industry in Ghana.
Mr E.A. Mensah, General Secretary of the GTPCWU, said so far things were moving smoothly and the expectation was that, given the experiences and lessons “we have learnt from other countries, we should be able to manage our industry better than most oil countries did in the past”.
Mr Mensah, who was addressing the ninth quadrennial delegates’ conference of the union in Koforidua on Wednesday, however drew the attention of the managers of the economy to a few developments that have a huge potential to debilitate and prevent Ghanaians from reaping maximum benefit from the oil and gas.
“Although it has been a little over one year since the first oil was poured in Ghana, it is sad to relate that we have still not passed the Exploration and Production Law (E and P Law) which is the parent law upon which all others depend”.
He said that law provides the basis for all the contractual obligations between the State and the International Oil Companies and its passage is therefore, long overdue.
Mr Mensah said any further delay in passing the Bill would have dire consequences for the country, especially in the event of any unforeseen distasteful development.
“Our leaders should, therefore, as a matter of urgency, expedite the review and ensure that, within the next few months, the Bill will be passed into law so that we can better protect the industry and reap optimum from it”.
Mr Ebenezer Okletey Terlabi, Deputy Eastern Regional Minister, noted that the avoidance of an oil crisis on the country depends on the collective efforts of all stakeholders in the oil industry including labour.
He stressed the need to develop the requisite human resource base to manage the resource adding that the Asian Tigers had gone that path in the past and they experienced a meteoric rise in socio-economic development.
Mr Terlabi expressed worry about the rate at which land was being sold to expatriates in the wake of the oil find and urged all to understand that lands are held in trust on behalf of the people by family heads, chiefs and the State.
He challenged labour to reposition itself very well and together with policy makers ensure that mistakes committed by other oil producing countries would not be repeated.
The three-day conference is on the theme “Repositioning Labour as an equal partner in the Oil and Gas Industry”.