A former Managing Director and Group CEO of GOIL, Mr. Patrick Akpe Kwame Akorli, has called for increased economic stability to attract direct foreign investment in the wake of Ghana’s ambitions to grow its oil and gas industry.
“We need private investments to come and boost our oil and gas industry and that kind of investments would come when there is stability. Stability here in terms of macro-economy,” he stated.
Ghana to usurp Nigeria?
Mr. Akorli who is considered a giant in the Oil and Gas industry opined that, although Nigeria remains the dominant country in the oil and gas industry in the sub-region, they face some form of political insecurity.
According to him, Ghana can take advantage to usurp Nigeria’s position to become the gateway to West Africa when it comes to oil and gas, if it tightens its political and economic security.
“The oil and gas industry in the sub-region is controlled by Nigeria, so they have a very huge advantage but over there things are not too smooth so Ghana can take advantage of that and put in the financial measures into place and become more transparent,” he said.
National economic growth
Speaking on Eye on Port live on national television, to assess Ghana’s potential to be the oil and gas hub, the man referred by many as the Icon of GOIL, said Ghana needs to tap into all its available resources to grow the Oil and Gas sector, as a growth in this sector is positively correlated to a growth in national economy.
“Energy is what wheels every economy. For example, at the beginning of every year if the government of Ghana sets target for the economy to grow by 8%, it is likely that the oil and gas industry also forecast that theirs will also grow by 8%. It shows that energy is so important in economic development,” he stated.
He said the industry is such a dynamic one that keeps changing at a fast pace, hence, there is the need to always explore opportunities in that sector.
According to him, that informed the decision by the management of GOIL to enter into a joint-venture with America’s ExxonMobil in off-shore exploration.
The Former MD of GOIL said it is the vision that, such a partnership would enable Ghanaian engineers acquire the requisite skills to do modern-day off-shore exploration which will contribute greatly to Ghana’s development of local capacity.
“That 5 % is a stepping stone as it will give us the opportunity to train our young engineers to get involved in the upstream. We are already strong in the downstream so we must endeavour to make it to the top. If the economy is going to derive anything from the upstream business then a local Ghanaian oil and gas companies must be involved,” he articulated.
He said the marine gas oil tanks installed at the Port of Takoradi was inspired by the belief in Ghana’s drive to develop the Takoradi Port as the dominant oil and gas services hub for the sub-region.
“The government at that time had a masterplan of making the Port of Takoradi the oil and gas hub, so I made a presentation to the board of directors at GOIL that Takoradi is the real deal- I believed in Takoradi Port. So we took advantage of that and make contact with Takoradi for the installation,” he disclosed.
He revealed that the investment has yielded a lot for GOIL with multinational companies purchasing from GOIL.
Mr. Patrick Akorli, stated that he would love for the Tema Port to make the necessary investments to follow suit.
“I think the oil berth at the Tema Port should be enhanced so it will attract bigger vessels to make the oil and gas industry to grow,” he said.