Theophilus N. Ahwireng

Story by Francis Tandoh || Roger A. Agana || Nana Appiah Acquaye

The Petroleum Commission (PC) said here on Friday night, it was working to build the capacities of Ghanaians to participate in the oil and gas industry.Theophilus N. Ahwireng

Acting Chief Executive of the Commission, Theophilus N. Ahwireng said here in an exclusive interview with SpyGhana.com during the end of year business cocktail organized by the Ghana Oil and Gas Service Providers Association (GOGSPA) in collaboration with the PC.

He said, ?The nature of the upstream petroleum industry is such that, it does not directly employ many people but it is the ancillary services that employ a number of people. Local Content is the vehicle to enhance the achievement of employment of Ghanaians. The Petroleum Commission has the responsibility to do that. We are engaging the local companies to help build their capacities so that they can participate.?

The philosophy of the PC, according to Ahwireng was not for the country to be receiving taxes and royalties alone but to also participate in the oil and gas industry.

?Our philosophy is that, this country should not only be a recipient of income taxes and royalties but we must also participate in the business. So we are working towards helping our local companies build the capability to work in the oil industry so tomorrow when the oil runs out we can have the competencies and capacity in the sector,? he said.

The Acting Chief Executive expressed satisfaction with the progress made by local companies that are participating in the oil and gas sector, but said ?this is just the beginning?.

Ghana discovered oil in commercial quantities in June 2007 and actual production commenced in November 2010.

The expectation of many Ghanaians was that having become an oil producing country, the people were going to derive so much from the resource.

He explained one of the challenges facing the Commission was with the management of the expectation of the people.

?Well, like any sector you would have challenges. One of them is the management of the expectation of the people. People thought by having the oil we are done, everybody will be rich. You need to know the reality is that one, it would take time, two, people have to work to make the income and three, you would need to invest to develop other sectors of the economy so people must manage their expectation,? Ahwireng said.

He asked Ghanaians to be optimistic but at the same time must be modest in their expectation of the impact of the wealth.

Established under the Petroleum Commission Act 2011, Act 821, the Commission is mandated to regulate, manage and co-ordinate all activities in the upstream petroleum industry for the overall benefit and welfare of Ghanaians.

The aim of the Commission is to ensure the sustainable development of the country?s oil and gas resource.GOGSPA business cocktail GOGSPA business cocktail GOGSPA business cocktail GOGSPA business cocktail

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