Dr. Stephen Kudom Donyinah, who is a lecturer at the Department of Chemical Engineering lamented the neglect of Ghanaian universities in matters of policies that guide the oil and gas industry.
Dr. Donyinah said these during a presentation at a Local Content Workshop dubbed “Developments, Policies and Challenges for Ghana” at the Ghana Oil Summit in Accra.
“The universities are not aware of government policies to help tailor the training of students,” he said in an interview.
The workshop held on April 14, 2011 was chaired by Mr. Willy H. Olsen, former Senior Advisor to the President and CEO of Statoil and Senior Advisor, INTSOK.
Dr. Donyinah bemoaned the fact that universities, particularly the KNUST have been made to train students without an adequate knowledge of the direction at which the oil industry was going.
In his presentation titled: “How Tertiary Education in Ghana is contributing towards the Local Content Capacity Building in the Emerging Oil and Gas Industry,” he said, “the industry-university relationship in the country is not the best,” adding that “there is the urgent need for the government and industry players to establish a direct link with the universities that are training students for the oil industry.”
Mr. Olsen in his presentation during the opening session of the workshop advised that Ghana ought to concentrate on maximizing the benefits of local content rather being over-concentrated with the 90% target in the Local Content and Participation Policy awaiting passage by Parliament. He stated that “maximizing the benefits of local content is not the same as to maximize local content”. The opportunity is to manage wisely revenues that accrue to the state.
The various policies that guide the fledgling oil and gas industry include the Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Bill, Petroleum Revenue Management Bill, Petroleum Commission Bill, and the Local Content Bill. Aside from the Petroleum Revenue Management Bill which has been passed by parliament and is awaiting the assent of the President to become law, the rest are yet to receive parliamentary approval.
Ghana became an oil producing country following commercial production on December 15, 2010.
By: Stephen Yeboah