The Takoradi Technical University (TTU) and Petroleum Commission have signed a GHS3.5 million agreement to train Ghanaian youth in the upstream oil and gas sector to boost local content in the petroleum industry.

The training programme in Accelerated Oil and Gas Capacity (AOGC) forms part of government’s strategic agenda to localize most of the expatriate roles for Ghanaians to play a critical role in the production and management of oil and gas resources in the country.

Speaking at a ceremony to sign the agreement, the Chief Executive Officer of the Petroleum Commission, Egbert Faibille Jnr., explained that the AOGC programme is part of an effort to ensure that gaps in competency requirements and skills needed for employment in the upstream petroleum sector are filled through deliberate training of interested Ghanaians to equip them with such skills.

“The Commission is committed to the local content objectives and therefore will collaborate with local institutions in areas of skills development and the transfer of technical know-how to allow more Ghanaians take up critical roles in the efficient management of Ghana’s petroleum resources. The programme aims at cutting down cost in bringing expatriates to the country in order to support the developmental agenda of Ghana. The high cost of importing these expatriate workers continue to have an adverse effect on the revenue generation of the country hence the introduction of the AOGC”, he said.

Egbert Faibille Jnr further explained that the Accelerated Oil and Gas training programme is being funded from the Commission’s allocation of oil production revenue.

He assured of the commission’s resolve to ensure sustainable and equitable distribution of gains from the oil and gas resource to benefit Ghanaians.

The Vice-Chancellor of Takoradi Technical University, Rev. Prof. John Frank Eshun was very optimistic that the partnership will yield the needed results.

He commended the commission for its commitment in giving an opportunity to more Ghanaians to play meaningful roles in the upstream petroleum industry through the training.

“Takoradi Technical University is committed to supporting the Commission to develop its technical capacity by giving the trainees the requisite training and exposure that will help them participate in petroleum and the allied industries in one of the best training facilities on the African continent, the Jubilee Training Centre at TTU. The JTTC is equipped with the state-of-the-art industrial replicated oil and gas learning environment to give the best skills and competencies to the trainees”, he stated.

Explaining the details of the training, the Vice-Chancellor indicated that the trainees will be taken through Instrumentation Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Process Engineering and Health & Safety.

Rev. Prof. Eshun assured the Petroleum Commission and the general public that the trainees will receive world-class training from internationally certified lecturers with the needed critical skills and competencies to enable them to take up commanding roles in the petroleum and its allied industries.

“The Jubilee Technical Training Centre was strategically established by the University and the Jubilee Partners to oversee the training of Ghanaians with knowledge and skills in the exploration, production and management of the oil and gas resources to help the socio-economic development of Ghana”, he stated.

Also present at the signing of the agreement from the Takoradi Technical University were the Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Victor Kweku Bondzie Micah, the Registrar, Mr. Moses Maclean Abnory, the Director of Finance, Dr. Gabriel Sam Ahinful, the Dean of the Faculty of the Engineering and Centre Manager of JTTC, Prof. John Bentil and the University Legal Counsel, Mr. Samuel Adinkrah.

On the part of the Petroleum Commission were Mr. Benjamin Asante, a representative from the Ministry of Energy, Dr. Paul Frimpong, the Consultant for the AOGC Programme, Mr. Mustapha Hamid, the General Manager AOGC among others