Mrs Bridget Katsriku, Chairman of the Public Services Commission (PSC), on Wednesday called for a national debate on how to unleash young potentials to take over the effective and efficient management of the oil
and gas industry.
She said Ghana had a large number of young graduates and professionals who graduate from the tertiary institutions every year and that it was time the debate began on how to get jobs for the graduate youth in the oil and gas industry be it in the midstream, upstream and downstream structure.
Mrs Katsriku was speaking in Accra during the 14th Annual Lecture of the Public Services Commission on the theme: “Harnessing Natural Resources for Sustainable Development and Growth in Ghana”, aimed at generating a debate on how to develop human capacity to manage the oil and gas industry.
She said one of the most momentous historic events that had taken place in Ghana since independence was the exploration, discovery and the eventual lifting of oil in commercial quantity and that what was missing was the professional personnel to fill the gap in the local content law.
Mrs Katsriku said the debate should also focus on measures that would enable the country to prepare fully in all possible aspects to efficiently and effectively manage the oil and gas to avoid mistakes that had occurred in other countries.
“We also need to generate ideas that would lead to the development of policy development of Ghanaians for the oil and gas to enable the country to take full control of the industry”, she stressed.
Mr Fiifi Kwetey, a Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, said the country’s main focus should not always be on the availability of its natural resources but its human resource development to manage those resources.
He said for Africa to compete effectively for the eventual human resource development and transformation of the continent, there was the need for its citizens to have an attitudinal change in their ways of doing things.
“Until we started thinking beyond managing the natural resources that would take us beyond having those resources such as the oil and gas, the nation’s human resource would never be developed”, he said.
Mr Andrew Badoo, Director of Operations at the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) who spoke on the topic: “Developing Human Resource Capacity for the Management of Natural Resources – a case for oil and gas” said the nation needed to do more more in the training of personnel to fit in the oil and gas market.
He said it was important that Ghanaians benefited from the oil find and its revenue but the country lacked the requisite personnel to manage the industry and stressed the need to focus on the training of professionals to fit in the market.
He said there were 10 active companies registered with the GNPC which were using a greater number of expatriate labour because the country did not have the skilled personnel to fill in the local content gap and needed to be reversed.
“It is also necessary for the country to maintain a realistic ratio between the highly skilled professionals and other professions to take up jobs
in the industry to improve on the local level participation, he said.