Oil and Gas forum held in Koforidua
Participants at a forum on Oil and Gas in Koforidua have called for the strengthening of the human capacity of District Assemblies to enable them to effectively deal with potential challenges of the industry.
They called for a policy to effectively define the role and relationship that should exist between District Assemblies, Traditional Authorities and the local people where the investment in the oil and gas is taking place.
Mr. Philip Amanor, Eastern Regional Director of the Community Water and Sanitation Agency suggested that funds established to help mitigate any social cost of the investment in the industry should be routed through the District Assemblies rather than new bodies or organizations.
These points were made at the forum, organized to solicit the views of people in the region for a policy document, which is being drafted to guide the oil and gas industry.
Mr. Ken Kumfa of the State Insurance Company, called for a review of the Insurance law to ensure that all companies in the industry take local insurance cover.
He said currently, most of the expatriate companies take foreign insurance covers before coming to the country, adding that if care was not taken in future, the local insurance business would suffer.
Mr. Kwame Ntow Amoah of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) said it was the desire of the government to develop a policy that would put the control of the industry in the hands of Ghanaians.
He said the draft policy document was proposing a full cost recovery to ensure that investors would be able to recover their investment.
Mr. Amoah said the policy was also to ensure that operators in the industry would roll back money into their investments.
He said gas associated with the oil discovery could be used to generate 500 megawatts of power and that government was putting in the necessary policy to ensure that it did not go waste.
Earlier in a welcoming address, Mr. Ofosu Asamoah, Deputy Eastern Regional Minister, expressed the hope that the discovery of the oil could bring enormous advantage to the immediate communities.