President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said the enhancement of the skills of Ghanaian engineers and technicians, particularly in the oil and gas industry is critical to the development of Ghana, as a modern and industrious nation.
The President said it was imperative that Ghana became self-sufficient in the development and management of her natural resources which is key to attainment of the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda.
President Akufo-Addo said this on Wednesday when the third batch of beneficiaries of the National Petroleum Commission's specialized training programme, called on him at the Presidency.
The beneficiaries will be trained at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, Canada, pipe fitters, mechanical technicians, and welders under the Master Instructors Framework.
The 8 beneficiaries are Gladys Perpetual Awudi, Wise Klomegah Kwashie, Daniel Kyei-Kankam, Samuel Garriba, Abdul Hamid Mohammed, Isaac Oppong, Frank Nana Osei and Emmanuel Marcus Abaidoo.
President Akufo-Addo said if the exploitation of the hydrocarbon resources on the country's shores and on-shore would be managed and developed by Ghanaians, then the country would no longer have to depend on foreign expertise and foreign capital to be able to exploit them.
President Akufo-Addo commended the initiatives taken by the GNPC to develop greater capacity to become an operator in the oil industry, as well as the enhancement of the technical skills of Ghanaian.
The basis for this training program, according to the CEO of National Petroleum Commission, Egbert Falbille Jnr, is that almost every engineering aspect or end product in the Oil and Gas industry, passes through pipes. Unfortunately, in Ghana, pipe-fitting as a stand-alone course is not done in any of technical institutions.
Though, some aspects of it are done here in Ghana, the CEO said it did not qualify the Ghanaian young technician to be able to stand alone as pipe-fitter and work in the industry.
He said on the FPSO, on Drillship and allied industries, expatriates were brought to work as pipe-fitters and payments are done and charged to the republic as petroleum cost.
"And if we are to reverse this," he said, the Petroleum Commission as the entity tasked with ensuring job role localization in the upstream space, has resolved under the leadership and direction of the Ministry of Energy, to train our own and introduce pipe-fitting as a course."
These beneficiary persons will be trained at the sole cost of the Petroleum Commission, and on return, will be mandated to introduce pipe-fitting alongside other competent courses that they would obtain at their various institutions.