The vigorous implementation of Ghana's local content and local participation regulation is not to stifle multinational oil companies but to ensure that contractors use of local companies, service suppliers and workforce as a deliberate business strategy, Chief Executive Officer of the Petroleum Commission, Mr Egbert Faibille has stated.
Mr. Faibille indicated that "one of the Commission's key mandates is the promotion of local content and the effective implementation of the Local Content Regulations. The Commission has accordingly taken all steps necessary to build capacities of Ghanaians and to create the right environment for increased local participation in the upstream sector. I would like to assure you that we will not fail Ghanaians."
He added "Our approach at the Commission to local content is very simple. We believe that we best serve the nation when we translate the exploitation of resources not only into profit but also into jobs and opportunities. We far as possible, we expect all contractors to make use of local companies, service suppliers and workforce, as a deliberate business strategy."
The Chief executive officer made these pronouncement on Wednesday when he addressed participants at the maiden Localisation Conference held in Accra on the theme "Job Creation and Human Resource Development in the Upstream Petroleum Sector.
The conference, which brought together industry players sought to ensure a common and full understanding of the relevant laws on employment in Ghana and examine best international practices; introduce the new localization requirements for the upstream sector and also showcase employment opportunities, capacity building, skills transfer and training of key companies in the upstream sector.
Mr. Faibille said the Commission recognizes the need to vigorously promote Ghanaian interests in petroleum activities and thus would ensure strict compliance to the Petroleum (Local Content and Local Participation) Regulations, emphasizing that Ghanaian equity participation is very important for the long-term survival of the industry especially in times of crises.
"We seek to harmonize the need for competition, quality and delivery with the need to grow local content and employment creation in the country. The starting point for us is to help local companies that support oil and gas business to set up and operate successfully by offering job opportunities to Ghanaians."
The CEO used the occasion to allay the fears of critics who think that local content would impede business progress, explaining that that the Petroleum Commission's view of local content and local participation is that of partnership between government and oil and gas companies as it creates a win-win situation for both Ghanaian and foreign companies.
According to him there are positive testimonies from some oil companies that have complied with L.I.2204., "and I am delighted to inform you that the local content law has made a significant impact so far."
He assured the oil sector that the Commission will continue to work with institutions, major operators and contractors to develop strategies to maximise local content in all aspects of the upstream petroleum value chain.
Mr. Faibille reiterated that "local content is here to stay and the Commission will work assiduously to ensure that it becomes a mainstay of the economy."
He was hopeful that in the next couple of years, the strategies that the Commission has deployed would help elevate local content and local participation to greater heights for the benefit of all stakeholders.
On his part, The Deputy Minister for Energy Dr Mohammed Amin Adam said government is not oblivious of the limitation for participation in the industry in the respect of technology finace and human resource.
The onus, Dr Adam said is on government to adequately and holistically "empower our people through the requisite skill development programmes that will ensure that the industry does not only contribute to the growth of our economy but also serve as a source of employment to our indigenes."