Petroleum And Gas Industry Must Provide Capital For Investment In Job-Creating Sectors

Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Minister of Food and Agriculture, says the petroleum and gas Industry is not conducive for the creation of jobs and must focus more on generating money to be invested in other job-creating sectors such as agriculture.

   He said the future of Ghana’s oil and gas sector would be mainly automation, with limited employment in the sector, thus initiatives, such as the KOSMOS Innovation Centre (KIC) were important for economic growth of the country.

    He made the statements at a ceremony to announce investment awards for the second KIC Agritech Challenge.

    He recounted a visit, with President Akuffo Addo, to a ‘huge’ state-of-the-art gas complex in Malabo-Equatorial Guinea, during a state visit two weeks ago, where he saw what government wanted to see with the future of Ghana’s oil and gas industry.

    He noted that during the over two-hour tour of the facility, no personnel was seen, with only three people and a bank of computers in the control room controlling everything in the entire complex.

    The complex, according to the Minister of Energy of that country, employed only 400 people.

    “It tells you that the petroleum and gas industry is not friendly to employment. If you want to generate employment in your country, you don’t go to petroleum and gas. What you do is for petroleum and gas to generate the cash, then you put it in the ground.

   “What KOSMOS is doing with this competition, to me, is exactly the intention of what we saw in Malabo. That they, as a petroleum and gas company, are trying to cultivate the interest of the youth of this country in agriculture is terribly commendable and I commend KOSMOS for their work,” he stated.

   Dr Akoto said Ghana’s agriculture sector was down by all indicators, a phenomenon that was deepening rural poverty in the country, thus the essence of government’s Planting for Food and Jobs policy; aimed at increasing productivity in agriculture. To do this, he said, technology in improved seeds, fertilisers and others were important.