The Energy Minister, Matthew Opoku Prempeh, says Ghana is committed to building partnerships which will ensure that Ghanaians are equipped with the skills to be able to participate in the upstream oil and gas industry.
Dr Opoku Prempeh made this assertion when he led a delegation comprising officials from the Ministry of Energy and the Petroleum Commission to the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) in Edmonton, Canada.
The visit, in furtherance of the government’s commitment to the Accelerated Oil and Gas Capacity Programme (AOGC), enabled the minister to assess at first hand the training capacity of the institute, a leading name in industrial education and training in North America.
The minister recalled his particular interest in technical education as Ghana’s immediate past minister of education and how, on his watch, he initiated legal processes in Parliament to delink technical, vocational and service training from the Ghana Education Service (GES) to stand alone, for purposes of emphasis.
Unleash the potential
He said the AOGC programme initiated by the NPP government is a strategic vehicle to ensure that Ghanaians are equipped with the skills they need to be able to participate in the upstream oil and gas industry.
“Local content and local participation in Ghana’s upstream industry is an article of faith for me. And … going round and seeing the facilities here at NAIT is indicative that you can support our country [to] achieve our potential,” he said.
Dr Opoku Prempeh continued: “On my assumption of office as minister, I have been made aware of your training and certification of five Ghanaians and the upcoming training of nine instructors. Ghana will leave no stone unturned, and we ask you to support us with the best.”
For her part, Laura Jo Gaunta, the president of NAIT, expressed her delight at receiving the Ghanaian delegation and reiterated the school’s commitment to supporting the industry with the best.
“We are happy to see you, Mr Minister. For us, our pleasure is to see our products contributing immensely to industry and we remain committed to this,” she said.
On a guided tour of NAIT’s state-of-the-art laboratories, Dr Opoku Prempeh expressed satisfaction with the institute’s preparedness to meet the needs of industry and urged it to do more.
The Ghanaian delegation included the chief director at the Ministry of Energy, Lawrence Apaalse, the chief executive of the Petroleum Commission, Egbert Faibille Jnr, and the executive director of the Commission for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET), Dr Frederick Kyei, as well as other officials from the Petroleum Commission.