Government urged to improve local content to expand industrial sector
Government have been urged to strengthen its local content policies to facilitate the expansion of the oil and gas and industrial sectors for sustainable national economy.
Professor Omowumi Iledare, the Ghana National Petroleum Commission (GNPC) Professional Chair of Petroleum Economics at the Institute for Oil and Gas Studies at the University of Cape Coast (UCC) has advised.
According to him, local content must translate to cost competitiveness, technical competence, be a tool for industrial development and domestication for value addition and creation without compromising on standards.
Prof Iledare, an International Petroleum Economics Expert, gave the advice when he delivered a public lecture on the theme "Local content imperative for sustainable petroleum economy: challenges and strategic option for Ghana" at UCC on Tuesday.
Dwelling on the success of the local content initiative of Nigeria especially in the oil and gas sector, he said Ghana’s local content must hinge on technology, human development and microeconomics issues.
He emphasised that it was imperative to expand the industrial sector especially petroleum activities to maximise the contribution of the sector to the economy beyond transfer payment and income redistribution.
A good local content policy, he said should encourage the use of domestically produced goods and services required for local industry activities and local manpower for research, training and contractual services.
Prof Iledare noted that petroleum host countries typically introduced local content policies to facilitate and promote participation of privately owned and state-owned domestic oil companies in petroleum resource development.
“Developing local Content is one of the methods well-resourced countries have adopted to increase the benefit from resource extraction to their economies beyond securing optimal revenues,” he said.
He encouraged the government to ensure stable economic and political atmosphere and sustain long term strategic partnership with various Oil Marketing Companies (OMC) to grow the sector.
Prof Iledare pleaded for government assistance to especially local investors in times when they had the zeal to establish or set up businesses in the country.
He further urged the government to duly reward foreign investors who inject their resources in the industrial sector, especially those in petroleum activities, pointing out that investors expected maximum returns on their investments.
Prof Iledare said there should be transparency and accountability on investments to meet the expectations of the citizenry.
He further called for the right investments of oil resources into social infrastructure, improved services delivery and strategic investments that would significantly improve the livelihoods of the citizenry.
He said diversification of the industrial sector, building relevant segments to enhance national security and expanding indigenous entrepreneurs should be the long-term goals of the local government.
Prof Iledare said collaborative efforts were required from all stakeholders in the industry, ranging from the government to local investors to achieve sustainable economic development impact.