Petroleum Commission hosts virtual Local Content Conference

Accra,-The Petroleum Commission, Ghana is hosting the 7th Annual Local Content Conference on technology transfer among upstream industry players to ensure well-coordinated joint ventures among local and foreign companies.

The two-day conference has the theme: “Optimising Technology Transfer in Ghana’s Upstream Petroleum Industry” and it is expected to focus on optimising technology transfer and bring to the fore, relevant issues that stakeholders could discuss to enhance local participation in the industry.

The 2021 conference being held virtually due to COVID-19, is featuring insightful speakers with knowledge gained from several years of experience in the upstream oil and gas industry.

Mr Egbert Faibille Junior, Chief Executive Officer, Petroleum Commission (PC), welcomed the over 350 participants who joined the meeting virtually, and explained that it had become necessary to discuss the issue of technology transfer under the local content development.

He said the conference coincided with a rigorous exercise carried out by the Commission earlier this year to assess the level of compliance with Regulations 23, 24, 25 and 26 of L.I 2204 of the Petroleum Regulations 2013, during which the Commission realized that urgent steps needed to be taken to address some challenges hindering the advancement of technology transfer to Indigenous Ghanaian Companies (IGCs) in Joint Ventures (JVs).

“It was realised among others that many IGCs are not participating in the core technical areas with high prospect of technology acquisition and there is low preparedness of IGCs to receive technology.

“It was disappointing to find out that some JV companies and their IGCs counterparts in engineering and fabrication businesses do not even have a yard or operational base of their own.

“This necessitated the Commission to take necessary measures to address this phenomenon and to use this year’s conference to address challenges of technology transfer.” Mr Faibille Jnr said.

He said through series of engagements with Joint Venture companies, the Commission identified that the success of local content development would also depend largely upon the strict adherence of JV partners fulfilling their respective technology transfer programmes, aimed at developing technological capacity and skills set of Indigenous Ghanaian Companies (IGCs) as required by L.I. 2204 – “a much-needed skills set needed to build capacities in Ghana’s oil and gas industry.”

Mr Faibille Jnr mentioned that transfer of technology was one of the significant issues in oil and gas contracts and that developing countries like Ghana were concern about controlling all phases of their industry’s operation which in turn, had led to their awareness of the need to acquire adequate understanding of the related technology.

“Without some mastery of oil technology, petroleum developing countries cannot ensure, for instance that their exploration efforts are adequate and that production rates are consistent with their national interest and oil requirements.”

He explained that technology transfer involved the transfer of tools, equipment, machinery, and other technology related hardware; Skills development including experience, expertise/know-how, skills, relevant certifications, innovations; as well as Information/databased solutions, software, design drawings, procedures; and, Organisational development strategies, which would aid in the development, absorption, and utilization of available or new technology.

Mr Andrew Agyapa Mercer, Deputy Minister of Energy, who represented the sector Minister, Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh, emphasised on the need for public and private sector synergy towards technology transfer and local content development.

“Frequent interactions must be encouraged and opportunities for capacity building be identified as well as pursued with private vigorously”, he stated.

He urged both International Oil Companies and indigenous Ghanaian companies engaged in joint ventures to strictly adhere to technology transfer laws in Ghana, particularly, the Petroleum Local Content Regulations, while the foreign companies should do their best to transfer the knowledge to the local ones, a requirement that allowed the foreign companies to renew their social contract.

Mr Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, Western Regional Minister, acknowledged that over the years, the Region had witnessed some level of progress in terms of its share of utilization of oil and gas resources and revenues to improve the livelihoods of the region’s inhabitants.

“However, over the last few years, under the NPP government the Region has experienced improvements in all developmental areas that is transforming the capabilities of Indigenous Ghanaian Companies and their ability to cope with the technological challenges of the oil industry”.

He therefore, urged the indigenous companies, especially in the Western region to take the opportunity to deepen their understanding in technology transfer and be well abreast of the processes and methods involved.

“It will be delightful to see indigenous businesses build their ability to receive technologies and then afterwards create future technologies to be utilized by the industry,” he said.

Among the participants were heads of Upstream Petroleum Companies, Captains of Industry, and Board Members of the Petroleum Commission, Directors, Management and Staff of the Commission.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Goil entreats Ghanaians to cherish its brand

Takoradi,- Mr. Alexander Adzew, the Chief Operating Officer of the Goil Company Limited has called on Ghanaians to continue to support the brand to ensure maximum benefits for the country’s growth and development.

“We all know that GOIL is wholly Ghanaian owned, SSNIT, BOST, and Government of Ghana have shares and therefore buying from our range of products is investing in local economic growth and development.

We don’t repatriate revenues to any other country and thus don’t contribute to dollar hikes and cedi destabilization…our monies are here to enhance national development”, the CEO said during the “Goil Bu Ghum” reward ceremony in Takoradi in the Western Region.

He said the Ghanaian brand and a leading player among Oil Marketing Companies,(OMC) in the country has “trusted and good energy” for consumers to protect and safeguard equipment in the automobile industry.

We have passed the Ghana Standards Authority’s specifications and continue to do more for our clients: our diesel is 10 pass per One million against the 50 pass per one million, while our petrol is 95 inches higher above industry expectations.

Mr Adzew said despite business challenges, the company continued to adopt prudent and innovative channels to produce quality lubricant, diesel, marine gas oil and gas, and aviation fuel among others, “we are bent on sustaining our position as the number one brand among the OMC”.

Ms Baaba Daniels, the Western and Central Zonal Manager of the Company noted that the company deemed it right to appreciate drivers from the two Regions who had stood with the company especially in the turbulent business environment.

“You have been faithful as drivers, regardless of the price increase and competition, you have shown fate in us”, the manager added.

The drivers drawn from the various service stations of the company received refrigerators, flat-screen TVs, microwaves, rice cookers, fans among other brand accessories.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Impending chicken shortage in Ghana to affect neighbouring countries

Accra,- A looming shortage of poultry products in Ghana will trigger shortages in neighbouring countries as most of them rely on Ghana to augment their local supply.

President of the Ghana National Association of Poultry Farmers, Victor Oppong Adjei, said apart from Nigeria and Cote D’Ivoire, which were doing very well in poultry farming, most neighbouring countries, according to him were not doing so well in poultry farming.

With an impending delay in the arrival of imported chicken due to disruption in the global supply chain, as hinted by the Chamber of Agribusiness Ghana, he indicated that the local poultry industry had limited time to make up as it was incapacitated to meet local demand, hence unable to export products to neighbouring West African Countries.

“They don’t have enough products now and they sometimes depend on us, so we have to increase production,” he told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview.

According to the Ghana Poultry Project (GPP), supplies from the United States captured over 40 per cent of the market share, while European countries and Brazil have 25 per cent with local poultry farmers having the opportunity to meet the demand of 35 per cent of the Ghanaian market.

The local poultry farmer, Mr Adjei said he could not to increase production over the years largely due to the cost of inputs especially feed which included maize and Soya.

He said the export of maize as a raw material to other neighbouring countries had contributed to the over 250 per cent price increase of the commodity since last year, forcing some farmers to dispose of their birds prematurely.

“We are just praying that this time around, it will be controlled by the government that we don’t allow people to just come and buy from the market whiles local industries depend on maize as their raw material,” he said.

The situation, he said, was further compounded by the bird flu disease that affected thousands of birds in the country.

Mr Tanko Bagbara, the Public Relations Officer, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, said that the impending delay of chicken imports was a trade issue that was beyond the ministry.

The Ministry has however taken steps to address the concerns of poultry farmers through the initiation of projects such as the Savannah Improvement Programme to encourage people in the northern regions to go into poultry farming, he said.

He also said that a ban was in effect to prevent the export of soya while an inter-ministerial committee had been tasked to investigate the local export of maize which had negatively affected prices of the commodity.

Ms Christiana Danquah, a caterer with 15 years of experience and operator of Foodbank Ghana limited, said the novelty of possible chicken shortage during Christmas did not auger well for her operations.

“Some clients booked my service for the Christmas festivities as far back as February and March. They have paid in full so I cannot give them stories when it is time to deliver. If a shortage happens, it will be very bad for some of us,” she bemoaned

Ms. Dzifa Hukporti, a local food vendor, said disruption in chicken supply during the festive season meant higher cost and less demand hence affecting the job creation avenue within the food industry.

She urged the government to assist local poultry farmers to scale up their operations to meet the local demand for chicken.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Inflation rises in November to 12.2 per cent

Accra,- The year-on-year inflation rate for November rose to 12.2 per cent, the highest since the rebasing of the consumer price index in 2019.

The rate for October 2021 was 11.0 per cent.

Professor Samuel Kobina Annim, the Government Statistician, at a press conference on Wednesday, said housing and transport which include fuel recorded the highest inflation of 20.5 per cent and 16.0 per cent respectively.

The Government Statistician said the Month-on-Month inflation between October 2021 and November 2021 was 1.4 per cent.

Food inflation was 13.1 per cent in November compared with 11.5 per cent the previous month.

The month-on-month food inflation for November 2021, was higher than non-food inflation by 1.3 percentage points.

Non-food inflation stood at 11.6 up from 11 per cent in October.

He said contribution of food and non-alcoholic beverages to overall inflation had gained an upward trend.

Inflation for locally produced items, the Government Statistician said continued to dominate imported items.

Inflation for locally produced items was 13.0 per cent with inflation for imported items was 9.8 per cent.

At the regional level, Prof Annim said inflation rates for Upper West (17.2 per cent) and Northern (16.4 per cent) regions remained high with Eastern (2.7 per cent) region recording the least inflation.

Ashanti had 15.5 per cent, Greater Accra with 13.4 per cent and Central region with 12.7 per cent of inflation rate.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Parliament approves over GHC576 million for Railways Ministry

Accra,– Parliament has approved a total amount of over GHC576 million for the Ministry of Railways Development for the implementation of its programmes for the 2022 fiscal year.

The breakdown of the 2022 budget estimate for the Ministry of Railways Development includes compensations GHC5,291,000.00; goods and services GHC13,037,000.00; capital expenditure GHC557,642,000.00.

Mr John-Peter Amewu, the Minister of Railways Development in moving the motion for the budget’s approval, said the Railways sector continues to be a vital priority of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

To this end, the Minister noted that the 2022 Budgetary allocation for the Ministry of Railways Development would be applied to activities geared towards the revitalization and modernization of Ghana’s Railways system to facilitate the efficient movement of goods and passengers.

He said the focus of the 2022 budget of the Ministry would be the continuation of all the ongoing development works; such as the ongoing works on the Western Line and the continuation of construction works on standard gauge rails on the Tema-Mpakadan line

Mr Amewu said the Eastern Rail Line was also being considered and that the acquisition of new rail stock would also be considered in 2022.

Mr Kennedy Nyarko Osei, Chairman, Parliamentary Committee on Roads and Transport, said the Committee was informed that the new standard gauge Western Railway Line was expected to continue from Manso to Huni Valley in 2022 by Messrs Amandi under a Credit Facility secured by the Government.

He said the Project would include the conversion of the dual gauge tracks between Takoradi and Kojokrom from narrow gauge to standard gauge; the construction of a new standard gauge rail line from Takoradi Station to Takoradi Port in order to have a continuous standard gauge connection from the Port to the Nsuta Bauxite mine and other mines to facilitate the efficient haulage of minerals.

He said additionally, government was providing funds under the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) for the development of a new six kilometre standard gauge rail line in Kumasi from Adum to Kaase.

He said the contractor, Messrs David Walter Limited had mobilized to site to undertake site clearance works for the construction of the new standard gauge line.

“The Project is expected to be completed over a 12-month construction period,” he said.

Mr Osei said inadequate budgetary allocation and delays in the release of funds over the years had greatly hampered the effective performance of the Ministry of Railways Development.

“To ensure accelerated economic growth and development in the country, it is important for the Ministry to be adequately resourced to enable it to address the challenges in the railway sector.”

Mr Kwame Governs Agbodza, Ranking Member, Parliamentary Committee on Roads and Transport, said once again the bulk of the money allocation given to the Ministry of Railways Development in the 2021 budget was not released; saying the “the bulk of the money they had was what development partners spent in relations to Tema-Mpakadan project so far.

“Mr Speaker, in 2021 the Ministry projected to spend GHC3.7 million on compensation, as at September this year, they’ve drawn down less than 40 per cent. Mr Speaker there must be something wrong. Because by the end of September you should be drawing down about 70 per cent of your compensation. Either they didn’t recruit the people or they refused to pay them.

“So, I don’t know why you should have the situation where your compensation budget is so underutilized? Yet in 2022 you are projecting to spend GHC5.2 million when you couldn’t even utilize much of what you were given in 2021. Mr Speaker it doesn’t add up. I think the Ministry must explain.”

Source: Ghana News Agency

GII to launch report on dangers of Double Tax Agreements

Tema,- The Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) would launch a report on the ‘Dangers of Double Tax Agreements (DTAs) in Financing Development in Ghana: A Case Study of South Africa and the United Kingdom.

The GII, the Ghana chapter of Transparency International, would launch the report on December 21, 2021, in Accra.

The study was a collaboration between the GII, and Tax Justice Network Africa (TJNA) with support from Open Society Foundation (OSF), Mrs Linda Ofori-Kwafo, GII Executive Director, stated in a statement copied to the Ghana News Agency in Tema.

The GII noted that the study was aimed at demystifying the policy logic behind the increased signing of various tax treaties in Africa when some of the existing agreements have been a subject of abuse.

The study was also aimed at emphasizing the need to adopt a harmonized DTA model when necessary which would take into consideration the diversities of African economies.

The overall objective of the launch, according to the GII was to create a platform for the dissemination of the findings of the study and to give opportunity for key stakeholders to further appreciate the implications of the existing DTAs.

The launch of the study would also be used to obtain commitments from key stakeholders on the implementation of the recommendations from the report.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Traders in Koforidua express worry over sluggish sales

Koforidua (E/R)- Traders in the central business of Koforidua have expressed worry over the sluggish sale of goods leading to a loss in profit margins.

As Christmas draws closer, many marketers expect a boom in trading activities, but the situation seems different as many of them complain of “bad market.”

Mr Kofi Appau, a boutique operator, told the Ghana News Agency in an interview that the inclination of the public to purchase has diminished, largely due to “no money in the system” resulting in loss of income.

He said because he had invested heavily into garments in anticipation of getting high patronage during this Christmas season but things have turned out differently.

Mr Razak Banda, a shoe seller, said he recorded high sales was at the beginning of the year; January – August, but started experiencing low patronage in the last quarter of the year.

However, he was optimistic that trading activities would pick up during the Christmas holidays to make up for the losses.

The market situation with hairdressers looked good as dealers of hair and body cream products recorded moderate sales despite general inactivity.

Mrs Helina Aboagyewaa, a Hairdresser, reported getting customers to braid their hair with different styles like a French braid, waterfall braid, fishtail braided bun, and spiral lace braid.

She reminded the public to keep observing the COVID-19 protocols before, during, and after the Xmas season by keeping to wearing a nose mask, washing hands with soap under running water, avoiding handshakes, and getting vaccinated.

Some public and private sector workers said they were not prepared for shopping because they had not received their salaries while others were waiting for discounted sales.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Government to undertake prospecting of minerals in Volta and Oti

Ho,- Mr. Samuel Abu Jinapor, Lands and Natural Resources Minister, has revealed plans to map the Volta and Oti Regions for the prospecting of mineral resources.

He said the two Regions were known to hold minerals of various kinds, and that deeper geological prospect was required to aid efficient exploration.

The Minister, who was ending his tour in the Volta and Oti Regions, was speaking during a courtesy call on the Volta Region House of Chiefs.

He said effective collaboration with traditional leaders was required, and mentioned the possibility of striking gold among other precious metals in the area.

“I am taking the view that we need to invest more in prospecting whether or not there are gold reserves”.

He said there was a high possibility as the perception that gold was only found in the southern belt of the country, had been defeated by the discovery of commercial quantities in the north.

The Minster and his team, while in the Oti Region, made a stop at Akokrowa, a community near Asukawkaw, where the Geological Survey Department has confirmed vast deposits of iron ore.

Mr. Jinapor gave the assurance there that the newfound resource would benefit the people, as government focused on value for money under the Ghana integrated Iron and Steel Development initiative.

The Minister used the tour to rally chiefs of the two Regions to support Government’s efforts at protecting the nation’s natural resources, which he noted, remains a challenge throughout the country.

“We have a big issue on our hands in this country, which is how we manage the lands and natural resources of this country. As we are very familiar with, across this country, matters to do with this sector are facing a lot of challenges.

“We are familiar with the issues of galamsey, we are familiar with issues of illegal logging of our forest reserves, and deforestation. We know about sand winning,” he said.

Mr. Jinapor also mentioned the persistence litigation pertaining to lands in the Volta Region in particularly, and which he said affected the development of forest and other nature reserves.

The Minister had called on Regional Ministers of Volta and Oti, and met with the various regional security councils, over issues including the illegal exploitation of natural resources and boundary disputes.

He also met with staff of the Minerals Commission, Lands Commission, and the Forestry Services Division, among institutions of the Ministry, and inspected climate conservation projects in the two Regions.

Source: Ghana News Agency