Petroleum Commission empowers artisans to increase local content

Petroleum Commission empowers artisans to increase local content

The Petroleum Commission (PC) has hosted a day-long consultative forum for hundreds of welders in the Central Region. The forum, which began in Takoradi in the Western Region, brought together regional artisans, academic institutions, students, and media personnel.

Purpose of the forum was to gather feedback from stakeholders on the PC’s decision to establish the Ghana Welding Bureau (GWB), an autonomous non-profit professional institute that will, among other things, empower Ghanaian artisans to take over the local content of the petroleum sector, which is largely dominated by foreigners.

The GWB was formed to oversee the development of Ghana’s welding industry and to provide certified and internationally trained welding professionals to the oil and gas industry and other sectors of the economy. The goal is to develop platforms for the education, training, qualification, and certification of personnel involved in welding technology and related technologies, as well as the exchange of scientific and technical information.

The collaboration coincided with the government’s initiative to train Ghanaians for available job roles in the upstream oil and gas sector through the Accelerated Oil and Gas Capacity Building Programme. It was also an important step toward achieving the global competitiveness required for Ghanaian skills to be certified and standards to be affiliated with the International Welding Body.

Egbert Faibille Jnr, Chief Executive Officer of the Petroleum Commission, stated in his welcome address that the Commission identified welding and pipefitting as technical areas in which Ghana lagged. He recounted how Ghana had previously lost revenue to expatriates, saying that three years ago, a company that won a contract to undertake a major pipe-laying project in Ghana sought to bring in 200 expatriate welders and pipefitters.

He stated that the Ghana Welding Bureau will work with key stakeholders such as technical and vocational schools to offer such courses. “We have expatriate welders and pipefitters coming to do job roles in our upstream petroleum sector,” he added.

Mustapha Hameed, Manager of GWB, explained to the participants that welding as a technical skilled person was not only pertinent in the upstream petroleum industry, but also in other sectors such as manufacturing and agriculture.

Even so, he bemoaned how the Ghanaian welding industry remained informal, dominated by ‘street welders,’ and beset by numerous challenges. The industry, he noted, “is poorly structured and regulated. There is lack of qualified and accredited training institutions, and there is a situation of almost zero regard for health, safety and environmental matters.”

Ishmael Addo, Chairman of Garages in Cape Coast, praised the Petroleum Commission for orchestrating the initiative and called for a Parliamentary Act to support it.

Source: Energy Ghana




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