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200 SMEs To Benefit From Oil And Gas Capacity Programme

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President Akufo Addo has launched the Accelerated Oil and Gas Capacity Programme (AOGC) to provide Small and Medium Scale Enterprises the capacity to gain a competitive advantage in the oil and gas industry.

The AOGC programme which was a flagship campaign message of the NPP in the 2016 election, will focus on the provision of a range of services such as business training, advisory services, industry specific training, and financial facilitation to 200 SMEs.

In a speech read on his behalf, at the launch held in Accra, he said the initiative will ensure local service providers and personnel are given the requisite skills and technical know-how from entrepreneurship to engineering, to strengthen their effective participation in the oil and gas sector.

“One thousand Ghanaians will be trained to gain various technical skills annually, and some three hundred employees in public institutions also adequately prepared to support the development of oil and gas policies, and the enforcement of industry regulations”, he stressed.

He emphasized that the initiative signifies government’s commitment in ensuring that Ghanaian companies find themselves at the forefront of the oil and gas industry.

President Akufo Addo disclosed that his government plans on partnering national and international oil and gas exploration companies to take up more acreage in the country’s offshore basin, with the objective of accelerating exploration.

He therefore urged the Ministry of Energy to expedite work on the development of the General Petroleum Regulations, to ensure the application of open and competitive public tender processes provided in Section 10 of the Petroleum Act, for the award of petroleum rights.

The Acting CEO of the Petroleum Commission, Egbert Faibille, on his part said it is the Commissions hope that the indigenous Ghanaian SMEs operating in the upstream petroleum subsector will be able to compete with foreign counterparts.

“The Commission views this programme as a critical pathway in government’s efforts to train and offer the youth opportunities and assume job roles in the oil and gas sector.

“This thematic area focusses on the provision of range of services for indigenous Ghanaian SMEs operating in the upstream petroleum subsector”, he stressed.

Workshop Training

The Regional Maritime University is amongst six universities that have been selected to participate in the Accelerated Oil and Gas Capacity Programme.

This led to the opening of the school’s Welding and Fabrication, and Mechanical Workshop by the Minister for Energy, Boakye Agyarko.

The new engineering workshop includes simulators and labs to facilitate training.

Source: Emmanuel Yeboah Britwum

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