Finance Minister, Seth Terkper, has disclosed that the main propeller of growth next year will be the oil and gas sector with the Jubilee oil field expected to take center stage.
Oil production in Ghana’s first oil field, Jubilee, was pegged at over 90,000 barrels per day when running optimum level but technical hitches have since prohibited the field from achieving full production capacity.
In spite of Mr. Terkper’s optimism, he admitted that the decline in the crude oil prices has led to the country realising a deceleration in the sector, a situation which is likely to affect production from the Tweneboah-Enyerra-Ntomme (TEN) fields and the Sankofa Fields.
Apart from the potential in Jubilee, Mr. Terkper said it is important to also look at oil services, to add to transportation services as well as financial services.
“We should also remind ourselves that growth is not propelled by just oil and gas, because even though we welcome oil and gas, as we have been pointing out it constitute something less than 5percent of our revenues and about 1 to 1.5 percent of our GDP, which means that we must keep an eye on services sector which is growing and continue to implement policies that will make it grow,” he told the B&FT in an interview in Parliament.
According to Mr. Terkper, the country must utilize the downstream and midstream oil sectors particularly petrochemicals to accelerate growth and added that the potential for agriculture was key.
“The mix of petrochemical product with salt for example could result in fertilizer production which could give a boost to agriculture,” he added.
Another strategy the Finance Minister touched on as far as accelerating growth next year was the launch of the EXIM bank. He stated that; “We just launched an export oriented economy through the EXIM bank, which is another mechanism for facilitating growth, in that it will help those who want to export particularly through export credit and export guarantee backed by standards and promotions.”