The aim of Ghana to achieve its 90 percent local content policy in the oil and gas industry is becoming a reality following the opening of $6 million ultra-modern laboratories for the Takoradi Polytechnic.
The petrochemical and hydraulics laboratories would facilitate the training of the Ghanaian youth in skills and competences necessary for the oil and gas industry.
The laboratories, dubbed “Amatrol Project” were financed by the Council for Technical, Vocational Education and Training (COTVET), while the Amatrol Inc. of Jeffersonvill, Indiana in the USA installed the equipment.
Commissioning the laboratories at the campus on Thursday, Ambassador Lee Ocran, Minister for Education reiterated government’s recognition of the role polytechnics can play and are playing to produce the core of technical workforce for Ghana’s economic turn-around.
To that end, “government will continue to resource the Polytechnics and other technical institutions to deliver on their mandates”, he stated.
Mr Ocran said the laboratories have the potential to transform a lot of the youth into critical technical workforce that the country needs to achieve the petroleum policy objective.
Whiles commending the management on the feat, the Education Minister admonished them to adhere strictly to proper safety precautions of the laboratories to ensure that more students derive maximum benefit from the investment.
He said applying science to everyday life requires both theory and practice because while the former lends itself to the classroom learning, the latter can only be learnt and practiced in the physical laboratory.
“For this reason, it is heart-warming that Takoradi Polytechnic has taken the bull by the horns to establish these modern laboratories”.
Dr Daniel Baffour-Awuah, Executive Director of the COTVET noted that parliament’s passage of the legislative instrument (LI) to see to the regulation and accreditation of training institutions would go a long way to eliminate mushroom training institutions and bring sanity into the system.
He warned that those who flout the law would be sanctioned until they comply with the directives.
In a welcoming address, Professor Daniel A. Nyarko, Rector, noted that the feat chalked places Takoradi Polytechnic in a competitive advantage position in the provision of technical skills.
He mentioned areas that would be addressed include programme logic controllers, process engineering, instrumentation and control as well as fluid mechanics.
“These skills would make our graduates employable in the oil and gas and allied industries”, he stated.
Prof. Nyarko noted that with the success story, the Polytechnic is gradually carving a niche for itself to become a centre of excellence in technical and vocational education.
He said management would continue to seek and provide more skills training opportunities for the Ghanaian youth, especially in the oil and gas and allied industries.
The Rector said in the wake of the oil discovery in 2007, the polytechnic conceived the idea of setting up the laboratories.
The chairman of the Takoradi Polytechnic Council, Prof K.T.Oduro pledged the commitment of the institution to developing academic programmes to world class standards.
The polytechnic would therefore continue to open up for field work and provide internship opportunities for the students, he said.