Joseph Owusu, the General Manager of the EO Group Ghana Limited is urging Ghanaians to consider exploring opportunities in other sectors to grow the economy instead of focusing attention on only the oil sector. This, according to him, will help maintain the needed diversity in the economy in order to avert a possible collapse of the economy in the future.
Joseph Owusu made this call at a colloquium to mark the one-year anniversary of the commercial production of crude oil in Ghana.
The event which took place at the Conference Centre on Thursday on the theme: “Ghana’s Jubilee Oil – One year lessons learnt,” was to facilitate dialogue on the oil industry, between the stakeholders, the government, the Jubillee partners and the media.
Mr. Owusu said he is impressed with the manner Ghanaians have embraced the oil and gas industry because in other countries, such as Equitorial Guinnea, locals have not shown that much interest in the sector.
He, however, sounded a note of caution: “Let us not make the same mistake that the Saudi’s made, the Nigerians made, the Libyans made thinking about themselves as one economy. That is oil. Because if we make that mistake, the only thing that is going to happen is that one day we are all going to fall off the cliff.”
He said currently Ghana produces 80,000 barrels of crude oil a day, which contributes about 0.1 percent of oil demands in the world. “[Ghana] can’t build an economy on 80,000 barrels a day for Christ’s sake,” he said.
“If we do that, we can all become rich or we can all become poor. It is such a risky proposition that I will rather prefer that there is a continuum of things.”
He said the oil sector needs to grow if Ghana will make any impact in the world, stressing, “to be able to match up to 0.5% by 2015, Ghana would have to produce 400,000 barrels per day. Only then would we begin to make significant contributions to global crude and energy demand.”
He proposed that the private sector must make very heavy investments in the sector in order to realize a higher production level. He further called for training of stakeholders, especially people who can work on the rigs without any foreign supervision in order to strengthen local participation.
According to him, onshore drilling, which is relatively cheaper than the current offshore drilling on the Jubiliee Oil Fields, can also be explored extensively.