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23.12.2010 Business & Finance

World Bank offers Ghana $38 million for oil management

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December 22, 2010
Accra, Dec. 22, GNA - The World Bank Board has approved a credit of $38 million to Ghana for the implementation of an Oil and Gas Capacity Building Project (OGCBP).

A World Bank Ghana statement in Accra said the credit facility, which is a concessional loan with a repayment period of 35 years, including a 10- year grace period, constitutes two-thirds of the total cost of the project.

Other co-financiers are the Governments of Ghana and Norway. The Project is planned to take off in 2011 and end in 2015.

The statement said the initiative had become necessary following Ghana's discovery of oil and gas in commercial quantities.

The OGCBP has two main objectives - to help improve public management and regulatory capacity and enhance sector transparency by strengthening the institutions managing and monitoring the sector.

The other objective is to support the development of indigenous technical and professional skills needed by the petroleum sector through support to selected educational institutions.

According to Sunil Mathrani, World Bank Task Team Leader for the Project, since the oil and gas discoveries of 2007 the country and its partners in the Jubilee field had worked hard to bring it into production in barely three years, a record time by industry standards.

However, it said, institutional development for sector management by the State andeducation and skills development faced significant challenges.

Mr Mathrani said the OGCBP had therefore been prepared in response to these challenges and to support the Ghana's desire to rapidly fix them.

Key institutions targeted for support under the project include the Ministry of Energy, the Ghana National Petroleum Company (GNPC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

According to the statement, the Project would provide institutional support to the Ministry of Energy and the soon-to-be-established Petroleum Regulatory Body to enable them to play their oversight, co-ordination, policy planning and implementation as well as monitoring and evaluation roles effectively.

Other specific functions to be enhanced include upgrading the GNPC petroleum data repository and support to the EPA to enhance its ability to manage and monitor environmental issues in the oil and gas sector.

Other beneficiaries are the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, particularly its agencies such as the Ghana Revenue Authority and the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative Secretariat, the Attorney General's Department and the Economic and Organised Crime Office.

The Project targeting human capital development will provide support to the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology to improve petroleum engineering and petrochemical engineering teaching and research capabilities.

Additionally it will provide support to vocational training institutions for development of programmes focused on technical skills development for the oil and gas industry via support to the Takoradi Technical Institute, Kikam Technical Institute and the Regional Maritime University.

The statement said the World Bank acknowledged the strategic role civil society was expected to play in promoting accountability and community participation.

An additional grant of $2 million is being provided under the World Bank's Governance Partnership Facility to support a wide range of activities to be championed and implemented by civil society and community-based organisations.

The OGCBP seeks to support the determination of the people of Ghana to make oil a blessing and not a curse.


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