Oil Companies now prioritize Community Development – Leonard Prah
Leonard Prah, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Fender care Marine Ghana Ltd, a local subsidiary of Fender care Marine, United Kingdom, has iterated that the times when foreign companies came to Ghana only to exploit its extractive natural resources, caring less of its development is over now.
He added that due to the local content policy for almost all foreign deals, there is a large physical presence of local content in foreign companies’ dealings in Ghana, especially in the oil sector.
He admitted that there has been the perception over the years that expatriates take advantage of Ghana’s vulnerability to exploit its natural resources, only to leave the country, especially the related communities underdeveloped.
He said current legal framework and supervisory agencies have made it virtually impossible to do same.
The Petroleum (Local Content and Local Participation) Regulation, 2013 (L.I. 2204) came into full effect on February 19, 2014, to give Ghanaians a grip on the oil and gas industry, and this he thinks has made it virtually impossible for any oil related company to be selfish in its dealings.
Section 3 of the regulation states that “A contractor, subcontractor, licensee, the Corporation or other allied entity carrying out a petroleum activity shall ensure that local content is a component of the petroleum activities engaged in by that contractor, subcontractor, and licensee, the Corporation or other allied entity”.
(7) Section 7 of the same act further states that “A contractor, subcontractor, licensee or other allied entity shall before the commencement of petroleum activities submit a plan to the Commission specifying: (a) the role and responsibilities of the indigenous Ghanaian company; (b) the equity participation of the indigenous Ghanaian company; and (c) the strategy for the transfer of technology and know-how to the indigenous Ghanaian company”.
He indicated further that, it is for this course that Fender Care Marine Ghana came to being.
Adding that the Petroleum law enjoins every foreign company in the upstream oil industry to have a local partner.
For this course, He said, Fender Care UK entered into a joint venture arrangement with Bayfield Oil Services Ghana to be their local partners, and Fender Care came out of that.
He was speaking during the handing over of a state-of-the-art KVIP toilet facility that Fender Care Ghana constructed for the New Amanful community in the Western Region of Ghana.
The facility, built for the only government school in the community has also now become the only facility in the community.
New Amanful is a fishing community in the Western Region near Takoradi with a lot of companies, especially oil related, however appears as relatively neglected and underdeveloped.
Leonard Prah indicated that the company has an annual budget of Hundred Thousand Dollars (USD $100,000.00) for corporate social responsibility, and a half of that (USD $50,000.00) was spent on the project.
According to Mr. Prah, the company is human and community development centred, adding that it saw the urgency of the need for the community to have the facility, after the Assemblyman for the community, Hon. Dominic Dadzie approached them on it.
Speaking at the event, Hon. Dominic Dadzie was grateful that the company took urgent interest in the request he put before them.
He further revealed that, the company has also provided borehole and other facilities for the Adum, Obrayebona and other communities, with a sporting facilities for the Ketan community near Sekondi in the Western region of Ghana.
Nana Asor II, Queen mother of the community on her part also expressed her appreciation for the gesture, which she described as unprecedented in her twelve (12) year reign.
She further called on all stakeholders and lovers of grass root development to emulate the actions of Fender Care and come to the aid of the community in relation to their other needs.
She further reiterated that, most companies, especially those on their land have remained careless about their plights as well as development, and only invite children for end of year parties.
She therefore sent a passionate appeal to all companies in New Amanful, to start adhering to the corporate social responsibility associated with their terms of engagements and help to develop communities they find themselves.
She threatened that traditional rulers of the community and adjoining ones would stage massive demonstration against those companies, including preventing them from working.
She also called on related regulatory bodies to ensure compliance of the local content regulation.
Source: Frederick E. Aggrey
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