As part of efforts to promote capacity building in the gas sector and gradually eliminate inaccuracies in knowledge-sharing processes and reports, the Ghana National Gas Company (GNGC), the state entity in charge of natural gas resources in the country, has instituted the ‘Gas Challenge,’ which maiden event was organized on the 20th of June, 2019.
The Challenge presents an open and competitive platform that serves as a knowledge-sharing avenue to imbue gas sector knowledge into its stakeholders, including the academic community and the general public.
With a particular focus on the operations of the Ghana National Gas Company, the competition covers issues of the entire gas value chain in the country, coupled with issues of health and safety in the gas sector, domestic use of gas, and commercial issues in the gas industry, among others.
An initiative taken by the Company; the Challenge fulfills one of the GNGC’s four core thematic areas – Human Capacity Development, an area which since 2017, has been a real concern for the company under the leadership of the Chief Executive, Dr. Ben K D Asante.
Established against a backdrop of challenges confronting the petroleum sector about inaccurate reportage by some media organizations, the initiative by the GNGC was wholly welcome and highly commended by Deputy Minister of Energy in charge of Petroleum, Mohammed Amin Adam, who was present at the event as its Special Guest of Honour.
Taking the opportunity to reprise the critical role GNGC has played in the last few years in stabilizing the power sector and making electricity cheaper, Dr. Amin encouraged all stakeholders to involve themselves actively in the capacity-building initiative to help meet international standards.
The first event, christened ‘the Stakeholder Edition’ of the Gas Challenge, organized at the British council auditorium in Accra, comprised three categories; Regulators, represented by the Ministry of Energy and the State Enterprise Commission (SEC) formed the first category.
Civil Society Organisations with representation from the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC), and Kumasi Institute for Technology and Energy (KITE) formed the second category while the media made up the third category and was ably represented by the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), Graphic Communications Group and GhOne TV.
With a gallant display of knowledge in the gas industry, the Ministry of Energy won the competition with PIAC and GBC coming first and second places respectively.
As a take-home package, the Ministry of Energy, winners in the historic event, received a Winners’ plaque, a cash reward of GH¢ 10,000.00, two laptop computers, and a training program for the representatives. First runner-up PIAC also received a 2nd Place plaque, two 64-Gig electronic tablets, and a cash prize of GH¢ 6,000.00. GBC, coming in third place, also took home a plaque, two 32-Gig electronic tablets, and GH¢ 3,000.00 cash prize.
The company is scheduled to replicate the quiz competition at the tertiary level, which according to Senior Manager for Government Relations at GNCG, Ms. Augustina Asare Osei, would include institutions that offer petroleum-related courses with attention on engineering programs, oil and gas management, health and safety, among others.
The thought behind the tertiary version of the competition, she explained, is to enable the company to introduce an offer of internship opportunities for the winners, and is a deliberate attempt to pass on some practical knowledge to students who are only familiar with the theoretical aspects of the petroleum sector.
Prospective institutions earmarked for the first event of the tertiary edition of the Challenge include the University of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, University of Mines and Technology, Ghana Technology University, All Nations University, University of Cape Coast, Regional Maritime University, Takoradi Technical University and the University of Energy and Natural Resources.
Ghana National Gas Company (GNGC), the mastermind behind this innovative initiative, was set up in 2011 as the pioneer in the processing, transportation, transmission, and marketing of natural gas resources in Ghana. The company, after successful operations of the Early Phase Gas Infrastructure Projects, presently operates and manages the entire National Gas Transmission system with a local workforce.
With a vision of becoming a trusted gas service provider, the company, through an expansion of its infrastructure, strongly aims at meeting the needs of industry and the public.