Shippers are adopting measures to significantly increase their share of the oil and gas sector.
They are advocating the local content policy to increase participation for the development of industrial infrastructure and skills of the local people.
Industry players in Africa made local content their priority when they converged on Accra for the second Africa Shipping and Oil roundtable.
Themed, “Local content development in Africa’s shippers and oil industry, the conference provided offered participants the opportunity to gain insight into government’s policy direction with regard to maritime, oil and gas related issues.
Alhaji Collins Dauda, speaking at the opening of the two-day conference, stated that it was important to develop and push through the local content policy to enhance skills and build industrial capacity, which in turn will spur economic and social growth.
He bemoaned the poor state of maritime and energy infrastructure in Africa which poses challenges to the economic growth and living standard of the people.
“We are aware that infrastructure development has a positive correlation with the price of goods in the market, cost of doing business, capacity to create wealth as well as employment generation.”
Participants also discussed how to manage the poor maritime and energy infrastructure on the continent.
He stressed the need for effective connectivity between seaports, which are the main gateways to the hinterlands through rail and inland water network to drastically reduce the huge transport cost that have made African trade less competitive.
With many more African countries joining the league of oil and gas producers, the continent is expected to enforce local content policies and come up with good legislations.
To gain numerous benefits from the oil and gas industry, Africa must also develop sound strategies that would increase the market share of marine companies in the oil and gas industry.
The minister encouraged financial institutions in the various African countries to support indigenous ownership of marine vessels.
The government of Ghana, he said, has through the Petroleum Revenue Management of Act 815, 2011 provided for a special fund that would address the infrastructural deficit in the country.
“I hope all African countries have put in place this kind of funding for the future generation.”
He expressed the hope that players in the industry would adhere to strict local content policy to advance the sector.
Remilekun Rasaq, Chairperson of the Local Organizing Committee of the 2nd Africa Shipping and Oil Roundtable, stated that Africa is regarded as the chief reservoir of the world’s natural resources.
The Africa shipping roundtable is an annual platform for decision markers in the public and private sectors aimed at discussing, reviewing and proffering solutions that would grow the Africa’s economy and enhance trade connectivity among African countries as well as international markets.
By Emelia Ennin Abbey