Be cautious about involving global contractors in oil industry - Omanhehe

Nana Kobina Nketsia V, Omanhene of Essikado Tradional Area has called on the government to be cautious about the involvement of global service contractors in the oil industry. He said global contractors usually used Ghanaians as �front-men� and registered such companies but eventually outsourced their work to others who were not indigenes of the operational area. Nana Nketsia said this at a public hearing on the Regional Environmental Impact Assessment (EIS) of the first phase of the Jubilee Oilfields at Takoradi on Friday. He said the region must benefit under the local content policy and it would be suicidal for any contractor to engage and use other people for their selfish ends. �Ghanaians want to control their own oil and will not allow foreigners to dominate the entire industry while we become servants in our own land,� he said. He said the lack of transparency in many oil producing countries had led to increasing rate of fighting and other negative acts in many African countries. Nana Nketsia said there must be a properly documented plan to ease the pressure on existing buildings and also prevent the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis from becoming a big slum. �Slums exist everywhere but we do not have to sit unprepared and allow more slums to develop as the oil industry booms,� he stressed. Nana Nkestia appealed to fishermen to be equipped with better and bigger ships to enable them to operate outside the territory of the oil rig and safeguard the investments of the country. He said it was sad that the Western Region had not benefited from any fund such as the Millenium Challenge Account and the Savanna Development Account. He therefore suggested the establishment of an entrepreneurial fund for skills development to train the youth in specialised areas for the oil industry and other sectors of the economy. Nana Nkestia urged the government to adequately resource the Ghana Army to protect the land, air and territorial waters to prevent any calamities in the industry. Mr Kobina Prah Annan, Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Chief Executive, said the focus of all inhabitants in the Western Region was to gain a form of employment in the emerging oil and gas industry. He said the fear of a possible spillage among other unexplained activities had become major challenges for residents of the area and its environs. Mr Annan, however, appealed to the various players in the industry to ensure that sound environmental practices which met international standards were observed. Mr Kofi Essuon, a representative from Tullow Oil, said the waste generated on the rig would be properly managed. He said the various companies would also assist the district assemblies to adopt modern waste disposal plans which could be converted into energy for domestic and commercial use. Mr Essuon said Corporate Social Responsibility would be undertaken by all the companies to ensure the development of the various communities. He appealed to parents to ensure that their children received the best education available to enable them to secure proper jobs in any sector of the economy. The youth appealed to the various companies to recruit them especially those who were qualified.