Cabinet approves local content, participation policy – Kojo Oppong

A new local content and participation policy in the downstream petroleum industry has been approved by cabinet, the Minister of Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has announced.

According to him the new policy which received approval on Thursday, March 14, was intended to ensure a fully Ghanaian-owned and driven petroleum downstream industry capable of attracting increased local value-added investments.

The policy would also seek to enhance job opportunities, while increasing indigenous knowledge, expertise and technology in the industry for the overall benefits of Ghanaians.

“Though there has been significant progress in the role and participation of Ghanaians in some of the downstream activities, the government believes there are still lots more space for Ghanaian participation,” he emphasised.

The minister who disclosed this at the Sunday edition of the bi-weekly media briefings by the ministry said the new policy framework covered areas such as; trading, shipping and bulk distribution of petroleum products.

It also covers infrastructure development in the petroleum sector such as construction of port discharge facilities, processing and petrochemical plants as well as supply of petroleum products to strategic sectors of the economy and the general procurement of goods and services for the downstream industry.

Mr Nkrumah who sounded upbeat about the new policy said it would provide a grace period for building local capacity as well as on boarding best practices from other jurisdiction where this was being practiced.

He noted that the Minister of Energy would in the coming days provide more details on the policy nuances per activity after which petroleum downstream Ghanaian content committee would be established under the National Petroleum Authority  (NPA) to supervise, coordinate, administer, monitor and manage the development of local content in the downstream industry.

Mr Oppong-Nkrumah said government was of the firm belief that efforts such as these would assist in strengthening the Ghanaian Economy as well as ensuring that Ghanaian capital was bolstered.

Meanwhile government has signed a 40million euro facility with the European Union to aid Ghana in promoting investment and increasing job creation.

The facility which is a grant, forms part of the financing agreement signed from Ghana’s indicative allocation of 323 million euros under the 11th European Development Fund and the National Indicative Programme which spans between 2014 and 2020.

Mr Oppong-Nkrumah explained that the programme focused on areas of business climate, public financial governance and employment with its main objectives being to promote domestic and foreign investments, enable businesses to spearhead economic transformation and create employment.

“It will also strengthen public financial governance and boost domestic revenue mobilisation as well as fight against corruption,” he stressed.

By Cliff Ekuful

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