According to the Executive Director of GOGSPA, Mr Nutley Adlerian, the endorsement of the Petroleum Local Content and Local Participation Regulations, 2013 (L.1.2204), amid opposition from foreign upstream oil and gas companies, was a clear demonstration of the country’s commitment to support indigenous companies.
He said since the discovery of oil, local companies providing services in the industry had to compete with foreign companies in services ranging from catering through haulage to heavy supplies.
Mr Adlerian said Ghanaians had to benefit from the resource which had a lifespan.
According to him, GOGSPA should be seen as a strong force which was ready to provide services to the new industry and enhance employment generation among Ghanaians
“Currently we have more than 60 highly qualified companies providing jobs for more than 12,000 people and contributing tax to the development of the country and if given the chance to be active players, GOGSPA could quadruple the number,” he said.
He said several concerns were raised by foreign companies just to ensure that the bill was not passed into law, saying, “we at GOGSPA see the endorsement by the house, which followed a report by the Parliamentary Committee on Subsidiary Legislation, which held that the concerns raised by upstream companies were untenable and that the regulations were not in contravention of the supreme law of Ghana’s 1992 Constitution.”
The passage of the law, he said, was timely and very important and a great boost for the local service providers in the new oil and gas sector, in the light of current global trends, thus creating an environment for the resource to be a blessing and not a curse.
The main focus of the association was to ensure fair representation of the local companies in the new oil and gas industry.
He said GOGSPA was also delighted that the discretionary powers to determine the persons qualified to enter into a petroleum agreement or receive petroleum licence was given to the energy minister and the Petroleum Commission under the regulations.
He said Ghanaian professionals with in-depth knowledge in the oil and gas sector living outside Ghana wanted to return home to lend a helping hand to the new industry but were not sure of the future.
Their unwillingness to return was due to the absence of the local content law that would ensure that their investments would be protected.
Those who have retuned home have to struggle with foreign service providers for the few jobs which should have been the preserve of the local companies.