The Executive Director at the Centre for Extractive and Development Africa (CEDA), Mr Emmanuel Kuyole, has called for deliberate government policy interventions and measures to drive the local content agenda.
He said while it was prudent to have the legislation in place, the lack of capacity and right linkages to harness the opportunities presented continued to erode the benefits the country could gain from local content in the extractive sector.
“We need a deliberate approach to taking advantage of the local content opportunities in the sector. It does not have to be something that the Minerals Commission or the Petroleum Commission is only talking about but then there should be a linkage so they work together to pursue the agenda,” he said in an interview after the launch of the 2018 edition of the Flamingo awards by the Institute of Financial and Economic Journalists (IFEJ) in Accra.
He explained that companies operating in the sector were not wa
“The companies are not waiting for you and they will bring in people to work and the service providers are not local people so at the end of the day, the money goes back. It is not as if the companies are not investing, they are investing but the monies are going back,” he said.
He added that in respect of local content, there were a lot of opportunities which could be maximised if the country prepares and make a deliberate effort to build capacity.
Building capacity, he explained, should start at the top so that Ghanaian companies get involved in the exploration, development and production of natural resources in the country.
“Instead of having only foreign companies involved in that area, there will be a deliberate effort in building local capacity and be able to have the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) with the capacity to also take a block, develop the block and produce.”
“In that case, they are not going to share the profits with any foreign company because all of what will be generated will stay in Ghana,” he said.
Touching on the mining sector, Mr Kuyole said the government’s approach to fighting illegal mining, popularly known as ‘Galamsey’ was worrying because it affects legitimate small-scale miners who can drive the local content agenda.
According to him, the approach taken was so broad that the legal small-scale miners who were largely Ghanaians were being affected.
“In terms of local content, if you look at the mining sector, the one area that we can say that we have local content is the small-scale sector. So when there is a problem in the area, you do not use a broad stroke and just sweep everybody. The approach is killing legitimate Ghanaian businesses,” he explained.
He said the government’s industrialisation policy, the ‘One-District, One-Factory’ presented an avenue to build the capacity of local service providers to be able to meet the requirement of companies operating in mining communities.
This, therefore, meant that the policy should be well targeted to specific communities that would help drive the local content agenda.
In November 2013, the Petroleum local content and local participation regulations 2013, L.I.2204 was promulgated to inter alia promote maximisation of value-addition and job creation through the use of local expertise, goods and services business, financing in the petroleum industry value chain and their retention in Ghana. — GB