The West Africa Business Association (WABA), Ghana will host an international oil and gas business conference and exhibition from June 2-4 in Takoradi.
The conference is expected to attract both local and international business entities and offer them, especially Ghanaian indigenous companies and organizations, an opportunity to interact with hundreds of dignitaries, oil and gas sector companies and other interested stakeholders.
Mr Joseph B.W. Winful, Chairman of WABA, Ghana, at a press briefing on Tuesday, said the oil and gas find in Ghana could only be considered a major blessing to the country if appropriate measures, including the right frame of policies and guidelines as well as legal structures that would ensure sanity in the drilling of oil wells, were ensured for maximum benefit.
He said the event on the theme: “Oil and Gas; Ghana Asem Pa,” seeks to, among other things, promote the good news with a series of strategic business seminars, insights about the future, networking sessions and an exhibition.
Mr Winful called on all stakeholders and the public in particular to seek enough information on the entire oil and gas find to be able to reposition and strategise their businesses and organizations to benefit positively from the find.
He explained that WABA, Ghana, with a membership of over 100 associations and direct links with partner associations in West Africa, United Kingdom and South Africa, offered strategic business advice, networking opportunities, information forums, international representations and practical and international help to its membership.
“It is therefore our objective as an association to assist members to transact business successfully in the sub-region to the benefit of both members and the countries in which they are active,” he said.
Mr Michael N. A. Aryeetey, Staff Geologist, Ghana National Petroleum Cooperation (GNPC), said though a lot of public education had been done with various organised groups including religious organisations and educational institutions, there was still more to be done to help erase misconceptions regarding the oil find.
He said during the conference the GNPC would make a presentation on past oil discoveries and what happened to those finds, why Ghana should consider the current oil find as a blessing, as well as an update of what had been going on at the Jubilee Oil Field.
Mr Aryeetey said while the nation jubilated about the oil and gas find, the realization that the commodity was a non-renewable resource and therefore had a life span of about 20 years should not be forgotten, but appropriate savings mechanisms should be put in place for the benefit of future generations.
He called on local business entities to position themselves ready to grab any available business opportunities that came out of the entire drilling process.
Mr Aryettey disputed allegations that the entire process would benefit just a section of the country, saying though certain regions would experience the impact first due to their geographical location the whole process would gradually spread to the entire country and therefore should be welcomed by all.
He said with regard to the issue of Environmental Impact Assessment, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had and would ensure that proper licences were acquired before companies embarked on oil well drilling to prevent degradation of the environment.
Mr. Aryettey called on the media to intensify education on the entire oil and gas find in order to prepare the public for the maximum blessing ahead.
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