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‘We won’t allow foreigners to take local jobs’

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The Petroleum Commission, Ghana (PCG) says it will not allow international oil companies (IOCs) to give jobs in the oil and gas industry meant for local companies to foreigners.An official of the PCG, Mr Abdul-Karim Adam, who made the pronouncement, said the move was in line with the strict implementation of the Petroleum (Local Content and Local Participation) Regulation, 2013 (LI 2204).

He told the Daily Graphic after the inauguration of a five-member new executive council of the Ghana Oil and Gas Service Providers Association (GOGSPA) in Accra last Thursday, that the PCG was undertaking stakeholder consultation and engagement “to bring people up to speed and let them know the law”.

Local content law

The Petroleum (Local Content and Local Participation) Regulation, 2013 (LI 2204) was passed by Parliament last November with the view to giving Ghanaians priority in all petroleum activities to enable them to benefit from the country’s natural resource.

The implementation of the law, which is expected to begin in the third week of February 2014, will help promote value addition and job creation through the use of local expertise, goods and services in the petroleum industry value chain and their retention in Ghana.

Furthermore, it will help develop local capacities in the petroleum industry value chain, while achieving the maximum local employment level and in-country spending of oil revenue.

The law will also ensure that indigenous Ghanaian companies are given first preference in the grant of petroleum agreements and licences.It will also make provision for at least five per cent equity participation by an indigenous Ghanaian company other than the GNPC before an IOC is deemed qualified to enter into a petroleum agreement or unless otherwise approved by the sector minister.

Concerns

The US government and the OICs have expressed concern over portions of the law, especially those that related to the restrictive clauses that prescribe timelines for achieving certain levels of local content and equity participation.

They contend that those provisions could make it difficult for the country to attract foreign capital, technology and expertise, and that the time limit would make it difficult for some portions of the law to be complied with.

PCG’s resolve

In spite of these concerns, Mr Adam said the PCG had a mandate to promote the local content regulation and so it would ensure that the IOCs complied with the law.

He said the law provided for different categories of services, such as catering and hospitality, in which Ghanaians must have 80 per cent stake because they had the capacity to deliver.

He advised local companies to register with the PCG in order to avail themselves of opportunities in the oil and gas industry.

The requirements for registration include certificate of incorporation, tax certificates and evidence of social security contribution for workers.

GOGSPA

The five-member new GOGSPA executive council has Mr Mohammed Kamil as president; Kwame Macafui,vice – president; Michael Avorkliyah, executive member; Agnes Adenu-Mensah, executive member, and Emmanuel Quartey, executive member.

Mr Kamil said the objective of GOGSPA was to promote local content for local service providers and also lobby for jobs for local companies in the oil and gas industry.

Established in 2009, the association also seeks to sensitise its members to the local content law to enable them to take full advantage of the opportunities therein.

Mr Adam said GOGSPA was collaborating with PCG to set up an electronic portal (an Internet-based platform) to enhance communication on developments in the oil and gas industry.

He stressed the need for networking and pooling of resources among local companies in the oil and gas industry to make them more competitive.

Source: Daily Graphic

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Reporting Oil and Gas project was launched on 4th June 2009atTakoradi, Western Region, Ghana by Penplusbytes (PPB – www.penplusbytes.org) with the vision of providing a one stop online information and knowledge about Ghana’s oil and gas sector
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