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Government is sponsoring five Ghanaians to train in stainless steel welding at the prestigious Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in Edmonton, Canada, under the Accelerated Oil and Gas Capacity-building (AOGC) Programme.

They  are James Bewiekah and Michael Atobrah from Kikam Technical Institute, Bright Oduro and Joseph Ghunney from the Takoradi Technical University and Abdul Rahman Dayankrah who holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Relations from the University of Ghana but later went to do apprenticeship in welding at the Suame Magazine in Kumasi

The training programme commences on July 15 and is being financed from a US$ 250,000 facility by Baker Hughes, a GE company in the oil and gas service industry.

Upon completion of the training, they are expected to be awarded international certification of the American Welding Society and the Canadian Welding Bureau, as well as DNV GL, an international accredited registrar and classification society headquartered in Høvik, Norway, the American Society of Non-Destructive Testing as well as the National Association of Corrosion Engineers and related certifications.

The AOGC is a Ghana government scheme designed to enhance the competencies and expertise of Ghanaians in the oil and gas industry

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Petroleum Commission, Egbert Faibille announced this when he led the beneficiaries to introduce them to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at the Jubilee House in Accra on Wednesday.

He told the President that the opportunity was ground-breaker for Ghana since it was the first time the Commission was getting sponsorship to take Ghanaians abroad for training since the launch of the AOGC programme in 2017.

After their training, he said two or three of them would be retained to train other Ghanaians and added that other opportunities would be discussed with the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology to bring prototype equipment to train more Ghanaians in the country, and send them to Canada to complete the programme to get the relevant certification.

“Even though we have lost some time in the last ten years since we started oil production, we believe that the time is about now, following your initiative of the AOGC to train more of our people in the hands on areas; so that at least for what we view as low-lying jobs in the industry, our own people should be able to do it and this is a fundamental step we are taking, following your dream that in the next 10-20years, our own people will be in charge of the upstream oil industry,” he said

President Akufo-Addo, on his part, thanked Baker Hughes for its decision to support such a worthy course which he said would help in the development and advancement of the country.

He urged the beneficiaries to make the best of the opportunity and gave the assurance that Ghana would be the ultimate beneficiary of the skills they acquired from the programme.

BY YAW KYEI

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