The Sector Minister for Energy, hon. John Peter Amewu, has indicated the government’s commitment to provide affordable energy supply for Ghana.
The Minister pointed out that upon the Nana Akufo-Addo government assumption into office in January 2017, the situation of the energy sector in Ghana was not encouraging.
He however mentioned that they as a government, accepted the challenge to improve the energy sector for the benefit of both Ghanaian and foreign persons and businesses.
Hon. Peter Amewu was addressing a cross section of the media when he took his turn to address Ghanaians at the weekly based ” Meet The Press ” series at the Ministry of Information, in Accra on Tuesday.
The Minister’s presentation which was anchored on the Ministry’s programs, achievements and the way forward also touched on challenges bedeviling the energy sector.
The Petroleum Register which was launched in February 2018 by the Petroleum Commission, an agency of the Ministry , helped to brought to fore fairness, transparency and predictability in the sector.
The Register according to the Minister provided the pl for Civil Society Organisations ( CSOs) and citizens a single platform to monitor all upstream petroleum activities and demand accountability of the government.
” This new dawn further affords Ghana vast opportunities to attract reputable oil and gas companies with the requisite capital and technical capabilities to invest in our geological basins” the Minister explained.
He said that participation of indigenous Ghanaian industries in the petroleum industry has increased significantly since 2017. This ,he noted was as a result of the rigorous promotion of joint ventures in accordance with Regulations 43 (1) of LI2204.
He disclosed that as at the end of September 2018, about 600 indigenous Ghanaian companies have registered with the Petroleum Commission providing goods and services to entities in the oil and gas industry.
Mr. Amewu further disclosed that the total value of contracts awarded to indigenous Ghanaian companies and joint ventures amounted to USD 799 million representing an increase of 44% out of which an amount of USD 453 million worth of contracts awarded to local entities whilst contracts awarded to joint venture entities recorded an amount of USD 346 million.
Currently the Minister emphasized that over 75% of people working in the upstream petroleum industry are Ghanaians and that in government’s quest to boost competitiveness of indegenous Ghanaian companies and provide education ,training ,research and development in the industry for Ghanaians ,the Petroleum Commission has opened the Local Content Fund Account in accordance with section 64 of the Petroleum ( E&P) Act,2016 (Act919).
Mr. Amewu continued that a secretariat has also been established to manage the Fund’s implementation and that modalities for managing and administering the Fund as well as the Fund Guidelines have been developed and awaiting appropriate approvals.
The Minister gave the assurance that the Local Content Fund will provide financial resources to small and medium scale enterprises to support their participation in the oil and gas activities.
He announced that the Commission has also been tasked to develop an electronic portal system (e-portal) to bridge the information asymmetry bias against Ghanaian companies.
The portal has among other things the objectives to provide an open and accessible platform for companies especially local entities to participate in the tendering process in the industry.
The portal will also provide registered companies under the the Commission with easy access to procurement plans and real-time notifications on tenders.
The Energy Minister used the occasion to thank the Information Ministry for the creation of the “Meet The Press” platform that provides mutual interactions between government entities and members of the inky fraternity.
By: Mohammed Saani Ibrahim