Mr Egbert Faibille Jnr, Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Petroleum Commission (PC), Ghana, on Monday said the challenges affecting the growth of the Oil and Gas Industry can be overcome by enhancing capacity of Ghanaian Companies.
He said such challenges that included; technology, and know-how, human resources and finance, could be overcome by building capacities of local companies through transparent participation in tenders and execution of contracts.
“We need to develop local capability in all aspect of the oil and gas value chain through education, skills and expertise development, transfer of technology and know-how.
“To this end, the Petroleum Commission has taken a strategic decision to promote the development of indigenous capacities and the use of local capacity in the exploitation of our petroleum resources by creating a conducive environment for indigenous Ghanaian Companies to succeed and address the problem of information asymmetry that limits the competitiveness of indigenous Ghanaian companies,” he said.
Speaking at the maiden Local Content Procurement Conference held in Accra, Mr Faibille Jnr advised local Ghanaian companies to partner each other and team up, as well as seek partnership from well recognised international companies that have long term experiences and the technical competences so that they could win local bids and fully participate in the local industry.
“We are sending strong signals to everybody involved that we are not paying lip services to local contents. We want to encourage the local companies to merge and consolidate their operation so they can play significant roles in the sector,” Mr Faibille Jnr said.
The Procurement conference, organised by the PC, was aimed at positioning local companies to adequately prepare to bid for, and win contracts in the upstream petroleum industry.
It helped to provide participants with information on the procurement needs of major international IOCs as well as contract and procurement opportunities in the industry for the year 2018.
Through the conference, the PC, also shared information relating to current and ongoing oil and gas projects, upcoming upstream petroleum projects, Procurement and contract opportunities, IOCs and ISPs tender requirements as well as minimising information asymmetry which adversely affected competitiveness of indigenous Ghanaian companies.
Mr Faibille Jnr noted that it had been proven time, and again, and across a wide spectrum of industries that the implementation of a local content strategy was one of the most effective and sustainable development strategies that a nation could adopt.
And so, in recognising the oil and gas industry as catalyst for economic development, there was the need to adopt policies to maximise the benefit of oil and gas wealth generation through the use of local expertise, goods and services, job creation, for people, businesses and financing in all aspects of the oil and gas industry value chain.
Mr Faibille Jnr said the PC had therefore reviewed the existing processes with regards to local content and local participation in order to make them responsive and fit-for- purpose.
He said among some of the measures was to establish a local Content Fund, to support local companies that required concessionary finance to undertake oil and gas activities while reservation of provision of certain goods and services to indigenous Ghanaian companies only, had been done.
“Let me take this opportunity to allay the fears of critics and skeptics who think that the local content is a façade and at best will only benefit a privilege few. The Commission view of local content and participation is that of partnership between government and the oil and gas industry. It creates a win-win situation for both Ghanaian and foreign companies.
Meanwhile, at the Procurement conference, some IOCs and Local Companies, including ENI, Springfield, MODEC, and Tullow Ghana Limited made various presentations on their operations and tender processes and requirement.
Mr Jeffery Asare, Contract and Procurement Manager of Springfield, a wholly Ghanaian oil company, advised fellow local companies to pay attention to technical expertise and health, safety and environment so they could win oil bids and contract to execute successfully.