The Nigerian High Commissioner to Ghana, Ambassador Musiliu Obanikoro has observed that it is imperative for Ghana, which discovered oil in commercial quantities, to prepare for the challenges of the oil industry.
According to him, most of the conflicts and disagreement in Africa and Nigeria, in particular, was as a result of the mismanagement of natural resources. “In Nigeria, there has been blowing up of oil lines, kidnapping of expatriates and shutting down of production lines on several occasions, leading to monumental loses to the country,” he stressed.
The High Commissioner gave the advice at the inauguration of the Ghana Oil and Gas Service Providers Association (GOGSPA) in Takoradi on Wednesday.
It was on the theme, “A pathway to knowledge acquisition and wealth distribution in Ghana’s Oil and Gas Industry.” GOGSPA, which was launched in September this year in Accra, is aimed among other things at promoting local content of the oil industry by assisting in the training and employment of the youth.
Ambassador Obanikoro called on the government to formulate a local content policy, as had been done in Nigeria, to allow indigenous participation in the sector, which hitherto had been dominated by foreigners. He noted that the financial sector must also be restructured to help local investors to compete with their foreign counterparts.
The President of the GOGSPA, W.K Agbesinyale revealed that it was only the service providers who could help distribute the oil revenue equitably among the ordinary citizens of the country.He therefore urged the government to immediately enact laws to improve local content to guide the major players of the oil industry. “We as providers of the various services have focused on making sure that we satisfy the major oil companies that would need our services,” he stressed.
In an address read on his behalf, the Western Regional Minister, Paul Evans Aidoo disclosed that “there were seamen who worked with oil companies in the region before oil was discovered in commercial quantities.” “These seamen constituted an enthusiastic labour force whose rich experience could be tapped by the various oil companies,” he stated. The event was chaired by Awulae Attibrukusu III, Paramount Chief of Lower Axim and President of the Regional House of Chiefs.
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