Dr Osei Boeh-Ocansey, Director-General of the Private Enterprise Foundation (PEF), who made the call, said the formulation of local content policies based on international best practice alone would not help in increasing local participation in the industry.
He explained that it was easy for multi-national oil companies to circumvent the local content provisions by claiming that local companies do not meet the requirements to do business with them.
Dr Boeh-Ocansey made the call in a speech read on his behalf at a day’s workshop, organized by the PEF in partnership with the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) and Ghana Institution of Engineers (GhGIE), for Journalists in the Western Region, on Tuesday in Takoradi.
It was held on the topic: “opportunities in Ghana’s Oil and Gas Industry for Local Participation”.
Dr Boeh-Ocansey called on Government to support the private sector to train its workers to improve their skills.
He said that Ghanaians must be educated about the opportunities in the oil and gas industry to encourage local participation and to boost the interest of the people in petroleum exploration.
Dr Boeh-Ocansey said the Ghana Research and Advocacy Programme would ensure that Ghanaians derive maximum benefits from the oil industry by fully participating in the activities of the sector.
Dr Robert Adjaye, an engineer of the GhGIE, said that information from Petroleum Skills Development Institute indicated that experience from successful countries like the United Kingdom and Norway shows that the oil and gas sector could be an impetus for economic growth, employment and development.
He asked Government to formulate a procurement policy that would give preference to local industry and workers, focus on training and the establishment of petroleum fund.
Dr Adjaye called for support for small and medium scale enterprises and formation of transparent and independent petroleum regulatory authority.
Mr Affail Monney, Vice President of the GJA, asked the media to play a watch dog role to ensure transparency and accountability in the oil and gas industry.
He, however, warned Journalists against reckless reportage and they should always cross-check their facts.