Mr Egbert Faibille Jnr, Acting Chief Executive Officer of Petroleum Commission, has said as a first step to enhance the capacity of Ghanaians in the oil and gas operations, it was important to reduce expenditure by indigenising training and minimizing overseas training.
He said the government was committed to ensuring in-country retention of benefits of Petroleum operations and that it was imperative to innovate ways to sustain the growth of Ghanaian enterprises in the oil and gas sectors at all times.
Mr Faibille Jnr said this at the inauguration of Rigworld International Service Company’s magnificent and ultra-modern training Centre at Kejebri near Takoradi, to equip Ghanaian youth aspiring for jobs in the extractive industry.
The centre, valued at US$8.5 million is fully equipped with advanced simulators, helipad, water survival training pool, medical centre, prime on-site accommodation, and restaurant and fitness centre.
The highly equipped oil and gas training facility, which is the first of its kind in the West African sub-region, has advanced simulators for real-time training and development.
The training centre would offer a variety of safety and survival courses, including Basic Offshore Safety Induction and Emergency Training, Further Offshore Emergency Training, Helicopter Underwater Escape Training and Compressed Air Emergency Breathing System.
Other courses to be offered are, Well Control and Intervention Training, Banksman and Slinger, Forklift Training, Crane Operations, Rope Access Training, Health, Hose Assembly Training, as well as the provision of offshore medicals, among others.
Mr Faibille Jnr commended the management of the Centre for conceiving and executing the project within a year, adding “it is a testament of the commitment and dedication by the leadership of an indigenous Ghanaian Company-Rigworld international and this is worth commending”.
“This suggests that when given the opportunity, the right incentives and favourable playing field, Ghanaian businesses are capable of delivering quality services in upstream petroleum subsector and other spheres of our economy”.
He said the training centre had come handy as a key facility in manpower development for the emerging oil and gas industry in the country.
The Acting CEO pointed out that as part of the Government’s intention to ensure the development of indigenous manpower to enable optimal and sustained local participation for in-country value creation, the Accelerated oil and gas capacity programme has been launched.
He therefore tasked the management of the Centre to ensure collaboration with the industry as well as ensure that the training programmes were of high standards and aligned to the needs of the industry, adding “it is imperative for Rigworld International to place the continuous audit of the centre’s programmes high on its agenda”.
Mr Faibille Jnr challenged the Board and Management of Rigworld International to find out how they could make the facility a regional centre of excellence by reaching out to countries such as Cote D’ivoire, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Senegal, Mauritania and even countries in East Africa that were now emerging as oil and gas producers.
The General Manager of Rigworld Training Center, Mr Carlos Akyeampong, said the idea of building the centre was conceived in 2016, following the desire to find suitable and lasting solution to the problem of lack of relevant training and expertise within the oil and gas industry.
He said with the increased mining activity in West Africa especially Ghana, it has become important to have adequate and the necessary training facilities to train and empower the workforce so as to ensure that safety practices met international standards.
The establishment of Rigworld Training Centre was, therefore, part of the forward-looking and giant steps to boost local content and participation in the oil and gas sector,” Mr Akyeampong added.
Dr Kofi Abban, Managing Director of Rigworld International Services, paid a glowing tribute to his mother, Mrs Leticia Amoa Abban for financially supporting him with an amount 35,000 cedis to start his business and that the training centre was a move geared towards supporting government’s effort to ensure that enough locals were trained and well equipped to facilitate and execute the needs of the oil sector within the confines of the internationally accepted practices and operations.
“It was against this background that our company decided to complement government’s effort with the establishment of an international-standard oil and gas training centre to train locals for this industry.”
He said the centre would offer exciting courses and that it currently had four expatriates with more than 16 Ghanaians assisting.
Dr Abban commended the chief and people of Kejebri for the land and support which had resulted in the success of centre.
Present at the ceremony was the former President Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings and his daughter Dr Ezenator Rawlings, Vice president of the Western Regional House of Chiefs, Awulae Amihere Kpanyili.