Yemisi Izuora/Agency Report
As Ghana prepares to develop its oil and gas industry, the country has taken bold steps to develop local capacity ahead of anticipated exploration expansion.
Currently, Ghana’s oil and gas industry rely heavily on personnel from The Philippines, Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire to assist in its operations.
To achieve that, the country has inaugurated an oil and gas centre to train people, especially the youth, who intend to work in the oil and gas industry.
The centre established at a cost of $15 million is located at the Regional Maritime University (RMU) at Nungua in Accra.
It was funded by the government of Ghana through the Ministry of Petroleum and the RMU.
Two pieces of equipment, namely well control simulator and process operator simulator, have been installed at the centre.
A well control simulator is a device used to train drilling engineers, while a process operator simulator is a computer-based training system that uses a dynamic simulation to train drillers and welders.
Four more pieces of equipment – a crane simulator, a crane lab, a hydraulics lab and an electrical and electronic lab – are expected to be installed before the end of 2016.
At the inauguration of the center, the Minister of Transport, Mrs Dzifa Aku Attivor, said the centre would contribute to the development of the country’s oil and gas industry.
She, therefore, urged the management of the RMU to partner key institutions to encourage the youth to show interest in both the maritime and oil and the gas industries.
The occasion was also used to mark the World’s Maritime Day celebration, which is usually held in the last week of September every year.
The Provost of the RMU, Mr Augustus Addy-Lamptey, said the centre, when installed with all the equipment, would position Ghana as one of the leading countries in the oil and gas industry.
According to Professor Addy-Lamptey, the RMU had over the past years introduced courses and programmes that would prepare the youth for the job market.
“The university intends to continue to look out for initiatives that will benefit the country’s development agenda,” he added.
On his part, the Vice Chancellor of RMU, Prof. Elvis Nyarko, said the university intended to solicit funds from its alumni to undertake some development projects.