The Ministry of Energy has directed the Petroleum Commission to evaluate the opportunities and risks the implementation of the Continental Free Trade Agreement could present to the upstream petroleum sector.

The free trade agreement is expected to come into force by the middle of next year and Ghana is hosting the secretariat.

Addressing the 6th Local Content Conference and Exhibition underway in the oil city Takoradi, Deputy Energy Minister Dr Mohammed Amin Adam said enforcing local content requirements within the free trade area should be a matter of concern.

“A deeper appreciation of opportunities and threats will enable us to evolve and position indigenous Ghanaian businesses to the huge potential of the free trade agreement”, he said.

Dr Amin Adam also highlighted the importance of the petroleum sector to the growth of the economy and expressed the government’s commitment to see to the growth of the sector.

Local Content Conference and Exhibition

The 6th edition of the Petroleum Commission’s Local Content Conference and Exhibition opened on Wednesday with a warning from the regulator of sanctions for indigenous firms found fronting for foreigners.

This significant move in collaboration with the Registrar General’s Department and the Ghana Revenue Authority is to ensure optimal benefits are derived from the country’s local content policy.

“Let me, therefore, use this opportunity to advise all those engaged in fronting to put a stop to it immediately,” Acting CEO of the Petroleum Commission, Egbert Faibille Jnr said.

The enforcement will include tax assessments based on equity participation and profit-sharing, then revocation of operating permits and non-issuance of permits to indigenous companies and their partners if it is proven after a thorough investigation that they have engaged in fronting.

This year’s local content conference is focusing on maximising in-country value addition and puts the spotlight on the role of Indigenous Ghanaian Companies (IGCs) in Joint Ventures (JVs) in the upstream petroleum sector.