Business News of 2014-03-18

'Extend exemptions to local companies’

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Zeal Environmental Technologies Ltd (ZETL), a wholly-owned Ghanaian oil and gas service company, Mr Kwaku Ennin, has called for a level playing field for all operators in the oil and gas service sector to ensure the growth of local firms.

He said the current situation where local companies who supported the industry did not enjoy import tax exemption was making it difficult for them to compete favorably with its foreign counterparts.

Mr Ennin made the call when the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Natioal Petroleum Company (GNPC), Mr Alexander Kofi-Mensah Mould, toured its waste transfer station at Nyankrom and other wholly-owned Ghanaian firms in the oil and gas sector operating in the Western Region.

He urged the GNPC to help Ghanaian companies providing various services to the sector to enjoy the same exemptions on equipment and chemicals just as their foreign counterparts.

“Unlike the Ghanaian firms in the industry, the foreign companies also have an additional advantage of raising capital as they borrow at as low as three to five per cent interest and the Ghanaian companies are borrowing at more than 19 per cent before the import duties,” he said.

GOGSPA

The Executive Secretary of the Ghana Oil and Gas Service Providers (GOGSPA), Mr Nuetey Adzeman, said it was important to ensure that local companies enjoyed the tax exemption to help them grow faster.

He expressed his appreciation to GNPC for the visit. “I only urge them to work quickly on the request for tax exemption to help locals to grow,” he said.

GNPC assurance

In response, Mr Mould expressed his outfit’s willingness to hold discussions with the players to come to an acceptable arrangement.

Currently, he said GNPC had embarked on a campaign to create a level playing field for the local companies engaged in the oil and gas service sector to afford the locals the opportunity to compete with foreign companies for contracts.

Visibly surprised at the level of investment made by a local Ghanaian firm, ZETL, Mr Mould said ZETL and other companies visited provided the reason why Ghanaian should be at the forefront of the industry in Ghana.

He said the GNPC would organise symposiums and workshops for Ghanaian industrialists and SME’s to sensitise to and educate them on their rights and how they can compete for contracts in the industry, and get tax exemptions for their imports.

Other discussions between the two leaders were about the need to help use the platforms such as ZETL platforms to provide practical training for young Ghanaians coming out of the country’s universities.

Source: graphic.com
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