A LECTURER at the Department of the Chemical and Petroleum Engineering at the College of the Engineering of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) has acknowledged the huge potentials of Ghana’s oil find.
Dr. Stephen Kudom Donyinah says the quality of Ghana’s oil is unique and, therefore, Ghana cannot fail with the discovery.
He was sharing his views on Ghana’s budding oil and gas industry at the launch of the ‘Strengthening Media Oversight of the Extractive Sectors Pilot program’ in Kumasi, under the Oil and Gas Project of the Penplusbytes (International Institute for ICT Journalism), in conjunction with Revenue Watch Institute, to increase media coverage of the oil related issues.
The pilot programme aims at promoting good governance and an effective oversight of the oil, gas and mining (extractive) resources and revenues, and ensuring a knowledgeable and active media which is critical to having an informed and engaged public, civil society and parliament that can hold government to account.
The editors discussed the latest development in the oil and gas industry, the role of Civil Society Organizations in the oil & gas sector, status of legislations, policies and regulations at the meeting.
Dr. Donyinah said the oil find had come at the right time, and urged Ghanaian authorities to cash in on this single find and encourage the local content aspect of the industry. He noted that growth of the Industry calls for training of the youth and recommended the proper management of the human resources to enhance the local content component of the industry in order to meet international standards.
The Chemical and Petroleum Engineering lecturer also called on local business entities to pull resources together to acquire oil blocks from the Ghana National Petroleum Company (GNPC) for management by locals for accelerated investment.
Dr. Donyinah announced that the Tullow Oil has offered scholarships for 50 students of his outfit, to be trained and help in the oil and gas industry, for the needed expertise to fill the existing gap.
Mr. Emmanuel Kuyole, the Africa Regional Coordinator of Revenue Watch Institute (RWI), a non-profit policy institute which promotes the effective, transparent and accountable management of oil, gas and mineral resources for the public good through capacity building, technical assistance, research and advocacy, in his keynote address said the oil industry was an opportunity to correct the imbalances of the first extractive resources.
The RWI Co-ordinator hoped structures would be put in place to regulate the industry for effective operations and impact on the local people.
Mr. Kwami Ahiabenu, President of Penplusbytes indicated that the pilot project aims at exposing journalists to the oil and gas Industry by equipping them with knowledge and skills to report effectively on the oil and gas industry.
He disclosed that 15 journalists have been trained to meet this requirement and that the next batches of participants are expected to enroll in a course in May 2012.