President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo Thursday commended the first five beneficiaries of the Accelerated Oil and Gas Capacity (AOGC) programme for successfully completing a 10-month sponsored training in welding in Canada.
The five, who were chosen after a rigorous selection process in 2019 through the AOGC programme, underwent advanced training in offshore (undersea) stainless steel welding at the North Alberta Institute of Technology in Canada.
They now wield international certificates from the American Welding Society and the Canadian Welding Bureau, giving them the capacity to work anywhere in the world in oil and gas and affiliated platforms and installations.
The programme, which cost $250,000, was sponsored by Baker Hughes, an international oil fields service company.
At a short ceremony at the Jubilee House in Accra, President Akufo-Addo welcomed them back to the country and applauded them for attaining the feat.
He reminded them, however, that though academic competence was necessary it would not be sufficient for their success.
They should apply what has been learnt and do so with integrity and train other Ghanaians in order to boost local participation in the Oil and Gas sector.
“You’ve gone, you’ve conquered and come back, but academic prowess is necessary but not sufficient for success…it is now that you are going to learn on the job, the full dynamics of the class room.”
“You have to continue to work and work with integrity…”he admonished.
Noting that the COVID-19 pandemic had made many economies to adjust, particularly in the petroleum sector, the President was optimistic that the five will find a lot of demand for what they went to learn in Canada.
“I wish you success and I hope to hear more stories on the ongoing training….the resources are here in our country, our responsibility is to make sure we are the principal beneficiary of those resources, both in terms of their exploitation and also in terms of the human resource that is responsible for developing it,” he added.
He commended Baker Hughes for partnering government to build local capacity in the oil and gas sector of the country.
Oghogho Dixon, Country Director of Baker Hughes, praise the five beneficiaries for successfully completing the training programme.
“I must say that the feedback and report we got from the University on the performance of these students are excellent and we are proud of them. Ghana has a bright future in stainless steel welding space.”
Mr Egbert Faibille Jnr, Chief Executive Officer of the Petroleum Commission, which is implementing the AOGC programme, said the Commission had plans to train a lot more Ghanaians to acquire skills that would afford them the opportunity to work in the upstream oil industry.
“We want to move beyond the current phase where a lot of jobs in the upstream space are given to expatriates to do because our people do not have the necessary international certification to do the work.”
Mr Faibille said the aim of the AOGC was to develop the capacity of Ghanaians in core technical areas such as welding and metal fabrication, pipe fitting, Non-Destructive test and drilling.
He pointed out that the AOGC beneficiaries would train and build the capacity of other young people to participate effectively in the upstream oil sector.
The AOGC beneficiaries are Messrs James Bewiekah, Micheal Atobah, Abdul Rahman Dagankrah, Bright Oduro and Joseph Ghunney.