Ministry of Energy in partnership with Regional Maritime University (RMU) launched an Accelerated Oil and Gas Capacity Program (AOGC) on Tuesday, 7th November 2017 at RMU to annually train over one thousand (1,000) people for the Oil and Gas industry. The AOGC would train people to derive maximum benefit from the Nation’s resources to enable them actively participate in the industry. AOGC would focus on building the capacity of individuals in four thematic areas, Technical, Vocational, Apprenticeship, Development and Utilization. It is hoped that the AOGC would help address the challenges that have bedeviled the existing capacity building approach for the Oil and Gas Industry. Successful trainees under this program would acquire internationally accredited certification provided by RMU and would be able to work in the oil and gas industry worldwide.

The launch of AOGC project funded by the Government of Ghana also coincided with the commissioning of the Mechanical, Welding and Metal Fabrication workshop funded by the Government of Ghana-World Bank Oil and Gas Capacity Building Project where students would be trained for the oil and gas industry. Equipment installed and tested during the commissioning  included, Well Control Simulator and Crane Simulator, Welding and  Metal Fabrication package, Hydraulic Laboratory, Electronic / Electrical laboratory, among many, all aimed at creating a foundation for technical and vocational training. The program which combines different capacity building initiatives as well as new initiatives has been carefully conceived to meet the demands of the Oil and Gas industry.

In a speech read on behalf of the President of the Republic of Ghana, Mr. Boakye Agyarko, Minister of Energy, said the AOGC program was in fulfillment of the many promises made by the Government. The program, he explained, had a capacity of training more than one thousand (1,000) Ghanaians yearly to enable them secure jobs in the oil and gas industry. Under this initiative, two hundred (200) small and medium enterprises (SMEs) will be provided with the capacity to gain economic benefit from the oil and gas industry. The aim, he explained, is to create a strong and vibrant upstream industry for economic growth. Some of the services to be provided would include; Business Training, Industry Specific Training, Advisory Services and Financial Facilitation, he revered. He further stated that three hundred (300) employees from public institutions are expected to be prepared to support the development of oil and gas policies and the enforcement of industry regulation. The aim of this thematic area is to equip public institutions with the relevant tools and equipment for effective regulation and management of the petroleum sub-sector, he said. The Minister noted that the AOGC program would play a significant role in the economy of Ghana through the creation of jobs for the teeming masses of Ghanaian youths.

One challenge noted by the Minister was that majority of the masses lacked the technical expertise to survive the demands set by the Oil Companies. The program according to the Minister would guarantee the training of qualified personnel to fill that skill gab. He stressed Government’s commitment at increasing the upstream activity, closely following the favorable judgment on the Maritime boundary dispute with Cote d’lvoire. To this effect, government mandate companies holding Oil blocks under the Petroleum agreement to demonstrate their commitment to execute their contractual obligation.

The Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Elvis Nyarko, in his address expressed appreciation to the Ministry of Energy for the remarkable facelift given to RMU Campus through the installation of sixty (60) street lights. He added that, apart from the Accelerated Oil and Gas program which was being launched, the University had plans underway to start the training of Sea-Farers for Export project of which RMU would play a critical role. The project, he said, is an initiative by the Ministry of Transport and the Ghana Maritime Authority to train the youth as seafarers for the Maritime Industry. It is expected that the project would provide employment to aid in poverty alleviation and also provide foreign exchange as currently happening in the Philippines and other Asian countries. In connection to the above, the University he said is in collaboration with Bernard Schulte (BS) group, who currently had on board three hundred and eighty (380) RMU students sailing over sixty (60) Bernard Schulte Ships worldwide. With the array of equipment received, the Regional Maritime University is strategically positioned to train the requisite manpower for the oil and gas industry. The Vice Chancellor pledged on RMU’s support to contribute to the success of the AOGC project.

 

Mr. Henry Kerali, Country Director for the World Bank, Ghana, on behalf of the Bank applauded the Government of Ghana, particularly Ministry of Energy for taking on board the responsibility of ensuring continuity of the accelerated Oil and Gas Capacity building program. He added that the World Bank in collaboration with the Government of Norway, Canada, United Kingdom (UK), and the European Union (EU) had supported a number of Ghanaian Institutions in Building programs, Data Collection and Management of the Oil and Gas returns from Ghana. He heartened on some achievements of the Bank through some assistance given to Kwame Nkrumah University, Takoradi Technical University among many of which Regional Maritime University is a beneficiary. He pledged the Bank’s willingness to support in developing and retaining indigenous capacities for the development of the Oil and Gas Industry. He concluded with the statement; “The World Bank would continue to remain a partner to Ghana and to Regional Maritime University.”

The Norwegian Ambassador to Ghana, Mr. Gunnar Holm emphasized his country’s relationship with RMU since its foundation as Regional Maritime Academy until its eventual transition into Regional Maritime University. He assured the University of Continuous Beneficial Relationship for the progress of the Marine Industry.

Present at the Ceremony were the honourable Senior Minister of   Transport of the Republic of Ghana, Vice Chancellor RMU, Honourable Minister of Energy, Municipal Chief Executives-LEKMA,  Captain Turkson, Immediate past Rector of RMU, Paramount Chief and President of the Nungua Traditional Council (King Prof. Odafio Welentsi III) and other Chiefs,  a representative of the Vice Chancellor of Kwame Nkrumah University, Excellencies, Members of the Diplomatic Corps,  Honorable Members of Parliament, Members of the Maritime Fraternity , Friends from the Media, Management, Staff and Students of RMU.

Information Date: 10/11/2017

Information Source: Marketing Unit, Regional Maritime University, Accra.