Jerry John Rawlings with Ezanetor (4th left) at the commissioning of the centre in Takoradi yesterday
Former President Jerry John Rawlings and his daughter, Ezenator Rawlings, yesterday joined the management and workers of Rigworld International Services – a wholly indigenous oil and gas service provider – to officially commission the Rigworld Training Centre (RTC) located at Kejebril, near Takoradi in the Western Region.
The centre, valued at $8.5 million and the first of its kind in the West African sub-region, is equipped with advanced simulators and top international experts for effective training in a variety of safety and survival courses in the oil and gas industry.
The courses are Basic Offshore Safety Induction and Emergency Training (BOSIET), Further Offshore Emergency Training (FOET), Helicopter Underwater Escape Training (HUET) and Compressed Air Emergency Breathing System (CA-EBS), among others.
The establishment of the centre was motivated by the urgent need to execute jobs in the oil and gas sector safely and competently, and it would also help provide the required impetus for local content and participation in the extractive and energy industries.
Speaking at the commissioning ceremony, Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Petroleum Commission, Egbert Faibille Jnr, noted that establishment of the centre suggested that when given the opportunity, the right incentives and favourable playing field, Ghanaian businesses are capable of delivering quality services in the upstream subsector.
“With our new found oil and gas and our zeal to ensuring that Ghanaians play leading roles, Rigworld International’s Training Centre comes in handy as a key facility in manpower development for our emerging oil and gas industry,” he added.
Mr Faibille Jnr. maintained that as part of government’s intention to ensure the development of indigenous manpower to enable optimal and sustained local participation for in-country value creation, the president had launched the ‘Accelerated Oil and Gas Capacity Programme.’
He explained that the objective of the programme is to develop competent local human resources to support the industry adding, “I therefore deem the timing of the commissioning of the centre as timely and ample proof of forward-thinking.”
He suggested that audits should be carried out periodically in conjunction with industry players with the view to remedying all shortfalls in the course contents and to create a robust training regime that would be dynamic enough to withstand the rapidly changing technology of the industry.
Mr Egbert Faibille Jnr charged the management of the centre to develop targeted initiatives and programmes to ensure a sustainable supply of skilled individuals beyond Ghana.
“My challenge to the board and management of Rigworld is to find out how they can make the facility a regional centre of excellence by reaching out to countries in Africa who are now emerging as oil and gas producers,” he added.
The General Manager of Rigworld International, Carlos Akyeampong, explained that the centre is to help provide the requisite workforce for the oil and gas sector locally.
“There are lots of expatriates taking over the oil and gas business not because they wanted to be here, but because the indigenous workers do not match up to the skills needed to operate effectively, efficiently and safely and that is what the centre seeks to provide,” Mr Carlos Akyeampong indicated.