Agyarko unveiling the plaque to officially open the workshop
Minister of Energy, Boakye Agyarko, on behalf of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has officially launched the Accelerated Oil & Gas Capacity (AOGC) programme in response to the demand for highly skilled manpower in the industry.
The programme combines four different capacity-building initiatives in the areas of technical and vocational training, SME building, public institution development and educational sector management.
It will equip Ghanaians to find lasting solutions to challenges in the oil and gas industry of the country.
The overall goal of the programme is to ensure that Ghana’s oil and gas industry does not only contribute to the growth of the economy but also serves as a major source of employment for Ghanaians.
Mr. Agyarko, addressing officials in the industry and the public at the Regional Maritime University, host of the programme, said the initiative signified government’s commitment to ensuring that Ghanaians and Ghanaian companies take the fore front of the oil and gas industry.
He said the oil and gas industry plays a critical role in the economic development of the country as it serves as a major source of employment.
“Many of our people have not acquired the requisite technical expertise to meet the often very high standards set by the oil companies.”
Mr. Agyarko therefore noted that the AOGC programme would guarantee that local service providers and personnel were given the requisite skills and technical know-how from entrepreneurship to engineering to strengthen their effective participation in the oil and gas sector, as well as other allied industries.
“We are determined to expand opportunities in the industry and to use it as a catalyst for the rapid transformation of our country,” he said.
He further observed that it was the vision of government to see to the successful running of the oil and gas industry.
The sector minister noted that plans were far advanced under the programme to train 1,000 Ghanaians annually to gain various technical skills in oil and gas.
“Two hundred Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) will be provided with the capacity to gain a competitive advantage in the industry and some 300 employees in public institutions also adequately prepared to support the development of the oil and gas policies and the enforcement of industry regulations,” he added.
Mr. Agyarko stated that government was ready to partner international oil and gas companies to take up more acreage in the country’s offshore basins.
He, however, urged oil and gas companies holding oil blocks to show commitment by fulfilling their contractual obligations, noting that government reserves the right to take action if they fail to comply with the terms agreed upon.
Vice Chancellor of RMU, Professor Elvis Nyarko, expressed gratitude to government for supporting the programme, which will train hundreds of Ghanaians in the technical skill areas of oil and gas.
He also called for increased support in the areas of infrastructure development and protection of its lands, which are being encroached upon.
The sector minister, together with the RMU Vice Chancellor and Acting CEO of the Petroleum Commission, Egbert Faibille, commissioned the newly built welding, fabrication and mechanical workshop funded by the World Bank, IDA and government of Ghana.
By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri