The Private Enterprise Foundation (PEF) on Thursday called on the government to focus on standardization and skills development for local operators in the emerging oil industry which would be crucial in achieving the 90 percent local content by 2020.
The foundation said the government simply developing local content policies by following existing international best practice would not help in increasing local content and high local participation in the industry.
Dr Osei Boeh-Ocansey, the Director General of PEF, was speaking at the media lunch of the PEF/Ghana Journalist Association (GJA) project on “Opportunities in Ghana’s emerging oil and gas industry for local participation” in Accra.
The PEF, with assistance from the Ghana Research and Advocacy Programme, is undertaking a project to deepen stakeholders interest and awareness especially business operators by identifying opportunities in the oil and gas sector and advocate that certain activities should be reserved for Ghanaian participation.
Besides, the overall objective also is to ensure that Ghanaians derive the maximum benefits from the oil and gas sector by fully participating in the activities of the petroleum value chain.
Dr Boeh-Ocansey also urged the government to support the private sector in terms of training in the areas of standards and skills development as well as other aspects of business development.
“As a country we should clearly define standards appropriate for Ghana, clearly communicate these to the local companies, what assistance can be provided in helping local companies meet these standards and how to monitor compliance of utilization of local content in the oil and gas industry” he said.
He also announced that PEF would undertake regional stakeholder seminar on the opportunities in the oil and gas sector and draft local content bill, develop a position paper for the policy advocacy and organize a retreat with parliamentarians and other relevant policy makers.
Dr Robert Adjaye, Rector, Petroleum Skills Development Institute, said the media campaign would boost the interest of Ghanaians in the petroleum exploration, development and production.
He said even though the government might have put in place a local content for the emerging oil industry Ghana should not sit down and expect that things would happen by themselves but rather make meaningful contribution to ensure that policies put in place are followed through.
Mr Bright Kwame Blewu, General Secretary of the GJA, said the media has a critical role to play by ensuring transparency and good governance in the management of the revenue that would accrue from the oil and gas sector.
He urged media organizations to build the capacity of their members to be abreast with international best practices in the oil and gas industry in order to be able to inform the public well.