Mr Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, the Minister of Petroleum has pledged government’s resolve to invest in the training of Ghanaians to acquire technical skills and expertise relevant to the oil gas industry.
“We are committed to increase and strengthen local technical skills in Ghana’s emerging oil and gas sector to bring about significant economic development opportunities to the country”, he said.
He was inaugurating a Petroleum Building and Laboratories Complex at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi.
The five-storey complex was funded by the University from its internally-generated-funds and the goal is to enhance teaching and research, as well as staff capacity development in the oil and gas field.
Mr. Buah said under the Oil and Gas Capacity Building Project, sponsored by the World Bank, government would improve policy formulation and regulatory capacity of key public institutions in the sector.
These include the Petroleum Ministry, Petroleum Commission, Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Economic and Organized Crimes Office (EOCO), Attorney-General’s Department, the Regional Maritime University and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The Minister said the challenge confronting many oil-rich developing countries was how to manage the revenues and spin-off benefits from production, as well as environmental degradation, resulting from poor sector oversight, and that, these were pitfalls Ghana would want to avoid.
He said it was for these reasons that government was employing strategies to rapidly increase the capacity of institutions in the sector, citing for example, the procurement and delivery of a patrol vessel to the EPA for improved emergency response and environmental monitoring.
Professor William Otoo Ellis, the Vice-Chancellor, said they had developed a strategic plan for oil and gas engineering education and research to guide them to deliver on the university’s mandate of providing the engineering manpower required for the oil and gas sector.