Ghana has been urged to put measures in place to sustain oil production, as the current state of affairs, if left unchanged, would limit production just for the next nine years.
Professor Omowumi Iledare, the Ghana National Petroleum Commission (GNPC) Professional Chair of Petroleum Economics at the Institute for Oil and Gas Studies, University of Cape Coast (UCC), has cautioned.
He called for technology and skills transfer through training, research and development while encouraging Ghanaians to have equity ownership and management participation in upstream petroleum activities.
Prof. Iledare said this at a public lecture at UCC on the theme: "Local Content Imperative for Sustainable Petroleum Economy: Challenges and Strategic Option for Ghana."
He urged stakeholders to ensure systemic improvement in local content to improve oil and gas sustainability in the country.
He said long term and effective local content policies had the potential to stimulate inclusive economic and social development, which would ultimately lead to prosperity.
That was the way to maximise the patronage of Ghanaian goods and services, increase employment and ensure localisation of job opportunities, he said.
"Developing local content cannot be addressed in isolation, but must be aligned to other economic development policies. For instance, a policy in the oil and gas sector that does not align with adequate educational institutions may not have the desired overall impact over the long term," he said.
Prof. Iledare said developing local capacities will result in increased capabilities and competitiveness of indigenous Ghanaian companies and individuals.
He decried the rate at which Africa was misusing proceeds from oil and gas resources, with sustainability depleting from 53 years to 22 years.
"Governments must ensure stable economic and political atmosphere and sustain long term strategic partnership with various Oil Marketing Companies (OMC) to grow the sector," he added.