The Western Regional Minister,Mr.Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah has tasked the Petroleum Hub Development Corporation (PHDC) Board to fashion out a policy to give more jobs to people around the Petroleum Hub enclave in line with the Local Content Policy (LCP).
He, therefore, advised the PHDC Board to establish an Agency to train indigenes in the Western Region before recruitment of the workforce into the Hub project commences.
According to the Regional Minister, the practice whereby people around the catchment area of such projects did not benefit, has been a source of worry to the people.
Mr Darko-Mensah who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Takoradi was speaking at a Stakeholder Engagement forum on the Petroleum Hub Development Project in the Jomoro Municipality at Takoradi.
The forum which is slated between August 1 and 5 , 2022, is expected to among other things, sensitise all stakeholders around the Petroleum Hub enclave and other key stakeholders in the Western Region to be abreast of preparations so far made by the PHDC Board to bring the project on stream.
Mr Darko-Mensah assured the Board that the Western Regional Coordinating Council (WRCC) would partner with the Board to acquire the land for the project through amicable settlements and adequate compensations to landowners and farmers.
The Minister reiterated that the project was expected to create more than 780,000 jobs for youth in the Western Region and would also help develop communities around the Hub enclave.
Mr Darko -Mensah observed that the Petroleum Hub Project would provide more direct and indirect jobs than the normal oil and gas project.
He asked Metroplitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) to pray for the project to come on stream.
The Regional Minister said the government mandates the PHDC Board to ensure that the project become operational for oil to flow in Ghana.
The Board Chairman for the PHDC Awulae Annor Adjaye called for adequate compensation for arable and cash crops which are to be destroyed on the land earmarked for the project.
He said apart from the compensation, additional money would be set aside to cater for farmers and landowners.
Awulae Annor Adjaye urged Ghanaians to invest in the project but not look up to foreigners alone.
"Local investors must not sit aloof and allow only foreigners to invest and reap the benefits from the Hub.
He said by 2030, the Petroleum Hub Project- should be ready.
The Board Chair intimated that education was key to the project and advised the youth near the Hub enclave to pursue higher education.
He advised people in the Western Region especially women to show interest and participate in the Hub project.
Deputy Chief Executive Officer (DCEO) of the PHDC, Nana Ama Tina Boakye in a presentation said the Project formed part of President Akufo-Addo's Ghana Beyond Aid agenda to create employment and transform the economy.
She said in 2016, countries in the West African sub-Region consumed 30 million metric tonnes to 43 million metric tonnes of Petroleum products out of which Ghana alone consumed 11% due to the large number of industrialization of people in the Sub-Region.
Nana Ama Boakye said Ghana consumed 4.6 metric tonnes of Petroleum in 2021 which makes the establishment of the Petroleum Hub Development Project necessary to address the shortfalls in the petrol-chemical industry in West Africa.
She said Ghana has access to vibrant shipping routes, access to markets and deep waters which are necessary for the Petroleum Hub. Project.
Nana Ama Boakye said the Hub would not cover all the 20,000-acre land as Eco systems will not be destroyed as well as a green buffer(forest) zone around the Hub.
She said environmental sustainability will be taken care of to avert health hazards of people around the enclave.
Nana Ama Boakye said, " it is the mandate of the PHDC that Ghanaians especially those around the Hub are not left worse off after the project".
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the PHDC Board, Mr Charles Owusu said the Board has been engaging communities and investors for the past eight months to make public presentations to arrive at the final policy statement and ensure a solid foundation before investors come in with lessons learnt from the oil and gas upstream project.
He said the PHDC Board was developing a database for the workforce and that this was the first time a massive investment would be made in the Petroleum Downstream sector.
Mr Owusu said the PHDC Board would break ground by the end of the year 2022.
The Director in charge of Petroleum Downstream at the Ministry of Energy, Ali Nuhu Abeka who held the fort for the Minister for Energy, Mr.Matthew Opoku Prempeh said the President envisioned industralisation to create jobs.
"The Ministry of Energy would therefore support the PHDC Board to ensure success of the project and benefits that would accrue to Ghana".
Mr Abeka lauded Awulae Annor Adjaye, Paramount Chief of Western Nzema Traditional Council and Board Chairman of the project, for releasing 20,000 acre-land for the project.