By: Bernard Kwofie

Ghana?s Parliament has set November 19th?2013 as the date for the passage of the Local Content Bill into Law. This was revealed by the Member of Parliament for Takoradi,??Kwabena Mensah Darko at the launch of the Ghana Supply Chain Development Program here in Takoradi. According to the MP who is also a Member of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Subsidiary Legislation ?? a final meeting to conclude the review of the bill has been slated for?Friday?the 8th?of November 2013??.

The bill which has been laid before parliament had to be re-laid as it failed to mature during the tenure of the last parliament. There have reports of attempts by the international oil companies to undermine the passage of the bill into law and adulterate the bill to their advantage. Although there have calls by Civil Society Groups for Parliament, the Minister of Energy and the President of Ghana to be more committed in pushing for the passage of the bill and prevent any possible withdrawal, little seems to be done. The Local Content Bill when passed into law will ensure increased Ghanaian participation in the oil and gas industry. A situation not deemed unsuitable by these international companies operating in Ghana.

Speaking at the ground breaking ceremony, Mr. Okyere Darko said the committee will resist any attempt to further delay the passage of the bill. He therefore called on government to institute a definite policy to propel the growth of the Western region and prevent what he described as the ??Kwashiorkor growth pattern which has seen some regions developing at the expense of others??. He called on USAID which is the funding agency to consider setting up a $20 million Enterprise Development Fund for the Western Region. According to him the mistakes we made with the timber and mining need not to be repeated.

The Ghana Supply Chain Development Program is $5 million capacity building and market linkage program for MSMEs being implemented by PYXERA Global with funding from USAID.

The launch attracted notable personalities including the Vice President of the National House of Chiefs, the Vice President of the Western regional House of Chiefs, as well as representatives of trade associations and donor partners.

 

The Author Bernard Kwofie is a natural observer and a freelance reporter who write under the ?My Thought to Write? series. He can be contacted by [email protected]

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