Vice President John Dramani Mahama on Tuesday said public private partnership was critical in mobilising financial resources for the development of the emerging oil and gas industry.
Addressing the opening session of the Third Ghana Summit, Vice President Mahama said government and the private sector needed to work hand-in-hand to find the resources required to build the downstream industry that would emerge from the exploitation of oil.
The Ghana Summit 2012 brings together senior government representatives, Ghana National Petroleum Corporation management, Ghanaian and international industry leaders to discuss new developments, strategies, local content requirements and projects financing.
It is being held under the auspices of Ministry of Energy, Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, National Petroleum Authority, and Ghana National Gas Company.
Vice President Mahama said government was committed to operate a transparent oil and gas industry and this was demonstrated by government’s initiative to extend the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative to the oil sector.
In addition, government was working to strengthen the regulatory environment and this had resulted in the passage of legislations to ensure that a conducive environment was created for operations.
Vice President Mahama stressed that as much as revenue from the oil was important, the indigenous Ghanaian private sector would benefit more through the opportunities that were created by operators through local content that would enable them to share in the joy of operations.
In this direction, he said, the local content bill currently under discussion would be sent to Parliament when members return from recess in May.
Vice President Mahama expressed the hope that events such as the summit that brought together all stakeholders would help push the frontiers of accountability and ensure that the oil resources were used to the benefit of all.
Mr Dai Jones, President and General Manager of Tullow Oil Ghana, said investment into the oil and gas industry would have a long lasting effect on the country’s development than any cash flow to government.
He said to ensure that Ghanaians derived the maximum impact from the oil discovery, Tullow had set up a local content department and have a register of Ghanaian suppliers, who were constantly being trained to match the required industry standards.
Themes being discussed at the three-day forum include: Local content development successes, development and training of SME’s in Ghana, ensuring local content in oil operations in Ghana and educating Ghanaians on how to position themselves in the industry.