Aker Energy, operator of the Deepwater Tano Cape Three Point (DWT/CTP) Block offshore Ghana, has announced a $4.5 million support for the Accelerated Oil and Gas Capacity-building (AOGC) Programme, a Ghana government scheme designed to enhance the competencies and expertise of Ghanaians in the oil and gas sector.
Mr. Jan Helge Skogen, Country Manager of Aker Energy commended the Ghana Government and the Petroleum Commission for adopting the necessary steps to raise local knowledge and capacity levels in the oil and gas industry and pledged Aker Energy’s continued support for the development of the sector.
Established in November 2017, the AOGC programme is the latest phase of various capacity-building initiatives by the Ghana Government since the discovery of oil and has the primary agenda of enhancing the capacity of Ghanaians to make them employable in the oil and gas sector.
The Programme will run for five years and will seek to train individuals in various technical and vocational areas and also build the capacity of educational institutions to be able to train students and award internationally recognized training certificates.
The AOGC Programme will further provide business and management training for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and ensure the continuous professional development of employees of various public institutions connected to the oil and gas industry.
Aker Energy maintains that the Government’s vision for building the capacity of Ghanaians to enable them to participate effectively in the upstream oil and gas sector is perfectly aligned with its own ambition to ‘go beyond local content’ through its commitment to transfer technology, know-how and skills to the local oil and gas industry.
“Aker Energy will support the Petroleum Commission to certify vocational and technical experts, preparing them for jobs in the industry. Under the AOGC, we will seek support from and utilize Ghanaian educational institutions to increase competency levels through training of local trainers’ programme,” Mr. Skogen said at a ceremony attended by stakeholders, and key players and regulators in the oil and gas sector on Friday.
The Country Manager referred to the ongoing Aker-GNPC Scholars programme in the Western Region, which, along with the company’s partners - Lukeoil, Fueltrade and GNPC - already caters for nearly 800 talented but underprivileged children, supporting them to continue their education at the secondary level.
The Aker-GNPC Scholars support programme is due to be extended to the tertiary level to enable beneficiary students pursue courses in technical and non-technical subject areas with some now capable of going through the AOGC programme to be offered University education in Scotland and Norway, according to Mr. Skogen.
“As you can understand, we want to get a lot out of our $4.5 million contribution and we are confident that this will happen through the project framework and the good cooperation already established between the Petroleum Commission and Aker Energy,” Mr. Skogen said.
Mr. Egbert Faibille Jnr, Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Petroleum Commission described Aker Energy’s announcement as marking the beginning of the operationalisation of the AOGC programme.
“Let me thank our friends from Aker Energy for the faith they have reposed in Ghana, the Petroleum Commission and the AOGC ever since the Commission broached the subject of AOGC to them,” said Mr. Faibille.
He said it was regretful that after 10 years of oil production in Ghana, only a negligible number of Ghanaian youth are employed within the upstream chain of exploration, discovery, appraisal, development and decommissioning.
“What the AOGC programme seeks to do is to ensure that Ghanaian youth are deliberately and strategically trained and qualified to work in Ghana and elsewhere in Exploration, Discovery, Appraisal, Development, Production, Abandonment and Decommissioning.
“Those seven areas have countless job opportunities and with the onset of AOGC, the involvement of Ghanaians in the upstream sector is expected to rise levels that will prove that AOGC is a bold attempt to ensure that our people take their rightful place in the industry,” Mr Faibille Jnr said.
Her Excellency, Hajia Samira Bawumia, wife of the Vice President, who was the guest of honour at the announcement ceremony, urged Ghanaian youth to take advantage of the new opportunities ushered in by the AOGC programme, the objective of which, she said, is to ensure that future generations are well-equipped with competencies necessary for socio-economic development.
Her Excellency Hajia Bawumia expressed gratitude to Aker Energy and hoped that the company’s contribution and initiative will inspire all stakeholders in the Oil and Gas sector and other development agencies to lend their support to ensure the success of the AOGC programme.