GNPC to sponsor students studying oil

Mr. Boakye Agyarko(inset),addressing the stakeholders  .Photo;Mercy Amparbeng  (1)The Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), will from this year, award scholarships to Ghanaian students to pursue oil and gas related programmes at tertiary institutions in the country.

This, according to Dr Kofi Kodua Sarpong, chief executive of GNPC, was a change in the implementation of its Corporate Social Responsibility policy, which hitherto, was focused on sponsoring a few students to undertake programmes outside the shores of Ghana.

The new strategy, he noted would allow the corporation to sponsor thousands of Ghanaians to acquire various skills and knowledge necessary for the development of the oil and gas industry.

Dr Sarpong indicated that about 250 students from across the country were expected to benefit from the first phase of the roll out of the policy which is scheduled to commence this year at various Ghanaian Universities, including the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT), Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), University of Cape Coast (UCC), University of Ghana amongst others.

Speaking at a stakeholders forum on Ghana’s 10 years of commercial exploitation, themed “Ghana’s upstream Petroleum Industry; A Decade after the Commercial Discovery of Oil and Gas”, Dr Sarpong said the plan would empower the universities to develop well packaged Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematic (STEM) programmes as well as technical skills training.

“We have analysed our CSR policy and strategy and come out with the conclusion that offering scholarships to Ghanaians to pursue oil and gas programmes is the best option. It is cost effective and a lot more students stand to benefit than spending a lot of money on a few people. We are also confident this initiative would support the development of programmes, designed to offer skills that meet industry requirements by universities in the country,” he stressed.

The new direction, Dr Sarpong said was one of three pillars incorporated into the company’s CSR investment.

“As well as placing emphasis on education and training, economic development and environmental protection is our other focus. We are committed in investing in targeted interventions that would improve the livelihood of Ghanaians affected by the oil and gas exploration and explore various initiatives across the country to support the wellbeing of people,” he added.

To further local participation in the oil and gas industry, Theophilus Ahwireng, acting chief executive of Petroleum Commission, said the agency had developed a monitoring and evaluation framework to monitor succession plans and training programmes of companies using the facilitation of work permit as an instrument vehicle.

The commission, he noted, further introduced the Ghana Upstream Sector Internship Programme (GUSIP) and Ghana Upstream Sector Technical Vocational and Apprenticeship Programme (GUSTVAP) to build the capacities of Ghanaians to be able to work in the sector.

Mr Boakye Agyarko, Minister of Energy, reiterated government’s commitment to implement policies that would enhance the sector’s growth and called for a concerted effort to address challenges including capacity and access to funds indigenous companies face.

By Claude Nyarko Adams and Rita Aba Eshun

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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