Business News of 2013-12-21

SMEs to play leading role in oil and gas industry

Mr Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, Minister of Energy and Petroleum Resources has asked Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to take a commanding lead in the country's oil and gas industry.

He said it is in this vein that government has partnered the Enterprises Development Center (EDC), a non-governmental organization, to equip SMEs with the requisite training

The Minister pointed out that as part of the local content policy, International Oil Companies(IOCs) cannot bring their expertise from abroad to take advantage of the industry

Mr Isaac Ettie Amihere, Project Co-ordinator in charge of Ghana SMEs Local Content Policy, made the call on behalf of the Minster at the official launch of the Press Corps of the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, at the closing ceremony of a-three-day capacity building workshop for 38 journalists at Takoradi in the Western Region.

He said journalists play a pivotal role in the growth of the nation, hence the need to build their capacities and update their knowledge and skills to feed the public with the relevant reportage in the oil and gas sector.

The minister gave the assurance that government will continue to adopt pragmatic measures to ensure that Ghana's oil and gas industry becomes a blessing than a curse.

Mr Samuel A. Affram, Project Manager at the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, said although Ghana has discovered oil and gas in commercial quantities, it is yet to develop the manpower needs to manage the sector.

He, therefore, called on relevant bodies, such as the Attorney General's Department, and other technical institutions, and the Media, to fashion out a common platform to have an oversight responsibility over the sector.

Mr. Afram said to ensure transparency in the sector, government will publish revenue accruing thereof for public consumption.

Mr Moses Dotsey Aklorbortu, Western Regional Chairman of the Ghana Journalist Association (GJA), lauded the Ministry of Energy for equipping journalists with skills to report on the sector.

Earlier, a Resource person, Mr. Emmanuel Osafo, who took journalists through training on Power-related issues, said Ghana requires close to 200 megawatts of power annually and between 200 and 250MW to keep up demands of a growing economy to improve the reserve margin.

Mr Osafo indicated that 20% of Ghana's power demand should be in reserve to cater for power outages, as is the case in some countries which have planted second contingency powers.

He debunked the notion that Ghana is exporting more power to other countries, and explained that the move is in line with a treaty borne out of an Inter-Regional Power Pool, signed by Heads of State.