Former Investment Relations Manager at Tullow Oil, Ghana Gayheart Mensah, has said there is the need to hold industry players to their own commitments and schedules in order to mitigate the environmental and social impact of oil and gas finds.
Oil finds and production in the Western Region are said to have impacted negatively on the cost of living in addition to creating joblessness among locals in that part of the country.
Mr Mensah, who is currently the External Affairs and Legal Director at Vodafone Ghana, speaking to Class Business on the sidelines of the graduation of the ACEP Media Fellowship and launch of Oil Money TV, noted that some of the emerging problems in the oil and gas industry could be addressed through a robust governance structure and system that will promote transparency and accountability.
“What is very clear with the industry is that it seems to be learning and improving on what it had done before and therein lies my optimism when it comes to not just the TEN project but when it comes to all other oil and gas projects. But I also think that in those improvements lie other opportunities that have not been exploited,” he stated.
“…There is a lot of talk when it comes to the transfer of skills and technology in this industry. It will help for us to understand the extent to which the gap is being closed when it comes to the skills that exist elsewhere and the skills that we are developing here as Ghanaians. Who is it who is looking at this to ensure that there is no short change somewhere down the line? And so there is a regulatory requirement here, there is a regulatory responsibility. So, there is a corporate responsibility on the part of the private explorers and so there is nothing really that stops us as a country from trying to understand where gaps exist and trying to call attention to the existence of those gaps.”
In his view, that is the best way of promoting governance in the oil and gas industry and that is the best way of ensuring that the industry develops in peace and harmony.