John Peter Amewu, the Minister of Energy, on Tuesday opened the Fourth Africa Oil Governance Summit in Accra and urged stakeholders to help find solutions to local content capitalisation.
That, he said, would help ensure a fair local participation in the sector.
Mr Amewu said there was the need for improved technologies and skills as well as higher levels of operational understanding of the sector.
He said the local content participation in the oil and gas sector was still low because operating there was still “very challenging, risky and capital intensive”.
The two-day summit, being held on the theme: “Harnessing the Potential of Local Content for Economic Growth and Inclusive Development,” focuses on increasing the impacts of local content policies in resource-rich African economies.
The oil summit, initiated by ACEP in 2015, has become an annual event that brings together stakeholders in the petroleum industry to deliberate on emerging governance issues.
Participants from Ministries, Departments and Agencies, accountability institutions, national oil and gas companies, Parliamentarians and other stakeholders are attending the summit.
Mr Amewu said Ghana had from the onset of the discovery of oil, instituted rules and regulations to make it mandatory for every Ghanaian to benefit from the oil resources.
He said as at September 2018, there were more than 600 indigenous Ghanaian companies who had registered and providing foods and services to the industry in Ghana.
He said there was, however, the need to build technical competencies and capabilities of those companies so they could participate well in that area.
The Minister indicated that the Local Content Fund, being managed by the Regulator, the Petroleum Commission, Ghana, needed to be resourced so it could “perhaps” support the indigenous companies in their operations.
He, therefore, charged participants at the summit to come out with conclusions and action plans that would be of a higher value to the sector.
During a panel discussion, Dr Mohammed Amin Adam, the Deputy Minister of Energy, said Ghana intended to introduce a “warehousing policy” to help identify indigenous state companies apart from the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, who could meet the five per cent local content partnership share, to also participate in the sector.
He noted that there was the need to strike a balance in local content legislation to help attain set national targets.
Dr Adam noted that Ghana needed to learn and partner neighbouring Nigeria, which had a lot of experience in local content, to leverage on the opportunities to build Ghana’s local capacities.
Mr Benjamin Boakye, the Executive Director of ACEP, said the summit was to help participants to share best practices and promote a broad engagement among governments, investors and think tanks among others to ensure that the extraction of oil and gas benefitted all members of the society.