The government will pursue more aggressive oil exploration to beef up Ghana’s production capacity for the nation’s socio-economic development Mr Boakye Agyarko, Energy Minister has said.
He said oil played a key role in Ghana’s development.
He said “apart from the revenue, we depend on oil for our power generation, there must be the situation where we find both enough oil and gas to make us self-sufficient”.
Mr Boakye Agyarko made these remarks in Accra, during the induction of the Board of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC).
The seven- member Board is under the Chairmanship of Mr Freddie Blay.
Other members are Mr Kofi Kodua Sarpong, Chief Executive Officer of the GNPC, Professor John S. Nabila, former President of the National House of Chiefs and Nana Ogyeahohoo Yaw Gyebi II, President of the Western Regional House of Chiefs.
The rest are Mr Yaw Kyei, Nana Adjoa Hackman and Mr Kwabena Kwakye.
Mr Agyarko described the induction of the board as a solemn one because they are about to carry on their shoulders a difficult task for this nation.
“The current situation in the oil and gas industry is that we have found oil, yes we’ve become an oil producing nation but we cannot sit on our oars and wallow in the pleasures of what we have found.
“Because what we’ve found is credible but given another 10 to 20 years, without any further find our fortunes will begin to decline. We must therefore, adopt a posture of aggressive exploration to add to our oil reserves.
“We have Jubilee field, yes, but oil have the central basin, the eastern basin and the Voltarian basin which would all if properly explored add to significantly to our national reserves.”
He explained that the significance of Jubilee could not be overestimated; adding that “it is the largest oil find, in the last 50 years. We must keep our foot on the accelerator and keep looking”.
He said: “The fact that we are now an oil producing nation imposes an onerous responsibility on us as a nation and more particularly on GNPC to husband this non-renewable natural resource, maximise its use for the transformation of our nation.
“We must use it in such a way that if in the unlikely event it runs out, posterity will feel that it had being used wisely for their benefit.
“We cannot therefore, afford to go down the slippery slopes as other nations, for whom the blessings of oil has become a curse.”
Mr Boakye Agyarko said the nation, its people must feel intimately the benefit of oil.
“In all our ways, we must touch their lives in a most meaningful and profound way. Growing up as a young boy, most of the people in my generation felt the benefit of cocoa scholarship.
“And we remain eternally grateful to the cocoa farmers for their toil and sweat.
“Future generation must also come to an acknowledgement and a position be grateful that the oil wealth touch their lives in such a way that they we will continue to remember and be thankful and grateful.”
He said the Board’s role in the governance system was to set the broad strategic vision and tone for GNPC; and what should the Corporation be doing now and in the foreseeable future?
“We must remember that this is an industry that has high standard, high expectations and serious volatility and attracts the best in terms of resources both financially and human.”
“You as board members must plan your resources in such a way that you also attract the cheapest money and the best human talents to face the talents other side such as the multinational oil companies may impose against you.”
He urged the Board to set a strategic vision that would enlarge the space of the universe for GNPC as a corporation.
“You must also be a sounding board to ensure that GNPC follows the best governance practices in a complex environment such as the oil and gas industry,” the Minister stated.
Mr Blay on behalf of the Board expressed gratitude to the President for the honour done them by nominating them to the Board.
He said the Board would work hard to ensure that Ghana benefitted from the oil wealth of this country.
Among the dignitaries that witnessed the induction ceremony were Dr Mohamed Amin Adam, a Deputy Minister of Energy in-charge of Petroleum, Mr William Owuraku, Deputy Minister of Energy in-charge of Power and Prof Thomas Mba Akabzaa, Chief Director, Ministry of Energy.