Ghana government asked to ensure local people get jobs in oil industry
The authorities were also asked to use part of the revenue that would be generated from the industry to develop the Western Region.
The Western Regional branch of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry made the call at a day’s seminar on the benefits of the oil find at Takoradi on Monday.
The Association expressed worry that vegetables like carrots and cabbages were being imported into the country by foreign people to feed foreigners working in the industry.
The seminar that was organised by the parliamentary caucus from Sekondi-Takoradi and Nzema area, aimed at discussing the oil and gas industry’s local content and participation framework.
It also aimed at collating views on how the oil find could benefit local entrepreneurs and the region for onward submission to Parliament to be factored into the oil bill.
Mr. Ato Van Ess, Western Regional Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, expressed regret that since the oil find in the country in 2007 government has not invited members of the Association for briefing or training on the oil industry.
He said members in a bid to know about details of the oil project have drawn up a comprehensive educative programme to reposition themselves to take up challenges in the oil and gas prospects.
Mr. Van Ess hoped that foreign experts working in the industry would train Ghanaians to take over the experts.
Mr. Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, Member of Parliament for Takoradi, expressed worry that “oil and gas business in Ghana has become the foreigners’ business”.
He said with the first oil production expected to begin in the last quarter of this year with an initial production of 120 barrels a day, Ghanaian companies should look for ways to optimise their local content supplies since all expenditures would be made from Ghana’s crude.
Mr Darko-Mensah said ”It is for this reason that we are happy government has completed its draft policy framework on local content started in 2007, intended to localise the oil and gas industry while managing its sustainability, though recognising the challenges faced in the area of finance, human resource capacity and technology”.
He called for the training of local journalists to enable them to effectively report on the oil and gas industry.
Awulae Annor Adjaye II, Paramount Chief of Western Nzema Traditional Area and President of the Beyin Traditional Council, advised the members of the Association to concentrate on their activities and not to meddle in politicise.