petroleum funds

“We need engineers, not oil and gas managers”


Deputy Petroleum Minister Benjamin Dagadu has described as unfortunate the practice whereby most Ghanaians wanting to work in the oil and gas sector shy away from technical aspects of the sector, opting to rather pursue various courses such as “oil and gas” management.

Mr. Dagadu, speaking at the West Africa Oil and Gas Talent Summit in Accra last week, said despite numerous job prospects in the sector, Ghanaians have opted to pursue educational courses which have relatively no value in the oil and gas sector.

“Everybody is doing oil and gas management nowadays. Who should do the work for you to come and manage?” the Deputy Minister quizzed.

Since the country’s oil find there have been incidences of many unregistered educational institutions offering various courses in oil and gas programmes, mostly certificates. But the recent surge in certain foreign universities charging exorbitant fees for various Masters programmes in oil and gas is what Mr. Dagadu describes as sickening.

The Deputy Petroleum Minister said the situation has caught the attention of government, and judging by the huge number of educational institutions engaged in those courses — despite the fact that there a little or no job prospects — government will be forced to move in to halt the practice.

Mr. Dagadu said in an interview on the sidelines of the West African Oil & Gas Talent Summit that the Education Ministry is closely monitoring the situation.

The 2-day Summit brought together business leaders, HR practitioners, workforce solutions providers, and education and government officials together to explore the role of talent in leading organisations through the unfolding crisis scenarios.

Speaking on the essence of the Summit, organisers of the event said: “As oil prices continue to fall with no end in sight, some things are becoming clearer. For example, that prices are likely to stay low for much longer than initially speculated. The industry is seeing second and third rounds of cost-cutting in a season. Survival is threatened, as technology and finance seem impotent to deliver corporate revival.

“All eyes are turning to the ‘people’ for survival. The people who can unravel the complexities and ambiguities; resilient and focused people who can chalk-up innovative responses and implement same successfully. There’s no better time to bring talent to the front burner,” the organisers said.

The seminar also discussed what changes organisations should make to their workforce development and performance practices, particularly with some forecasting oil prices could dip below US$40 per barrel.