A Public forum on the Local Content and Local Participation Policy on the Ghana’s Oil and Gas Operations has been held at Koforidua.
The Omanhene of New Juaben Traditional Area, Daasebre Oti Boateng urged Government to set up a special fund where part of the money accrue from the Petroleum production would be used to care for and educate the youth.
Explaining, he said the oil and gas production in Ghana had a life span of 20 years and just as Cocoa has been used to assist a number of school children and the needy in the society the same would be emulated in the petroleum industry in the country.
He also appealed to government not to use only the elite in all the decisions making on the project
but to ensure that the local people are integrated especially those whose lands and properties have
been taken for the production of petroleum are part and involved.
He said the local people know the terrain more than the elite who are mostly in the urban areas and if care is not taken they would adopt “let them do it alone and we will see” attitude to sabotage the project after its completion.
Nana Kwaku Boateng from them Ministry of Energy ,said in his presentation that the objective of the forum was to sensitize the public about the possible job and investment opportunities for all Ghanaians.
He said it was also to receive inputs on the draft Local Content Policy on the Oil and Gas Exploration and Development in Ghana.
He said that the Eastern Region’s part of the Volta Basin has the potential of discovery of oil and gas at the off shore level adding that at the moment there is no data for exploration.
Nana Boateng said that GNPC is in consultation with other companies to collect data for the exploration.
He urged the people to remove the high expectation of the financial benefits of the production of oil and gas in the country.
Some of the things discussed include Oil and Gas Exploration in Ghana, Environmental Assessment, Highlights of Local Content and Local Participation Policy and the Job Opportunities in the Oil and Gas Sector.
The Director for Planning and Evaluation at the Ministry of Energy Mr.J.B.Okai who read the speech of the Deputy Minister for Energy said Ghana has come a long way in becoming the cynosure of all eyes in the international community because of the promise it holds in the oil and gas.
He said the whole of Ghana’ Offshore holds the potential of oil production but the active involvement of the people in the oil and gas exploration, development, production and utilization through local content and local participation has become a major policy issue.
He assured the people of the government’s plan to ensure that residents of the oil producing areas as well as companies carrying out the exploration and productive activities are not unnecessarily exposed to the serious security risk as have been the case in other oil producing countries.
The Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Samuel Ofosu Ampofo who chaired the programme, urged the people to understand the emerging pportunities that would come in the work of the oil discovery and strategically position themselves on the road show on the local content and local participation on the oil and gas operations.
He appealed to them to be frank in the expression of their views and comments to enable them to come out with a good document that would make the oil industry become truly Ghanaian.