The Minister of Energy, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, has inaugurated governing boards for three agencies under the ministry.
They are the Energy Commission, the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) and the Volta River Authority (VRA).
The Energy Commission Board has the immediate past Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Professor Ebenezer Oduro Owusu, as Chairman, with Mr Oscar Kojo Amonoo-Neizer, Dr Kodjo Esseim Mensah-Abrampah, Dr Isaac Frimpong Mensa-Bonsu, Mr Moses Aristophanes Kwame Gyasi, Mr Dari Bismark Harruna (the Kpembe-Wura) and Ms Lydia Seyram Alhassan as members.
The GNPC Board is chaired by Mr Frederick Worsemao Blay, with the Yoo Naa Andani Yakubu Abudulai V, Dr Kofi Koduah Sarpong, Mr Martin Kwakye, Ms Ama Gyamfuah Abrefa, Ogyeahoho Yaw Gyebi II and Mr Yaw Kyei as members.
The VRA Board is chaired by an investment banker, Mr Kofi Tutu Agyare. Other members are Rev. Dr Cyril K. Ben Smith, Messrs Emmanuel Twum Antwi Darkwa, Kwame Anyimadu Antwi, Musa Badimsugru Adam, Solomon Adjetey Sowah and Ms Janet Anane.
The minister charged the members to take serious steps to ensure the promotion of clean and renewable energy use in the country.
He said that was critical because of an energy transition and climate change agenda, adding: “Speed up in this direction because we are in turbulent times.”
“I am looking forward to the board taking responsibility and advising us appropriately,” he said.
Dr Prempeh also asked members of the GNPC Board to use their expertise to help find oil onshore in the Voltaian Basin, while reminding them of the need to meet with National Security over the matter.
He said the GNPC had done enough seismic work, and entreated the board to “ensure that in the next four years, we are not going to be doing only seismic work but also exploratory activities to ensure that the oil onshore that God has given us comes to fruition”.
The minister also tasked the board to work towards promoting local content in the petroleum sector, saying they must guarantee “the ability of every Ghanaian to participate in the God-given wealth in this country”.
According to him, out of the about 30 Ghanaian companies that were benefiting from the oil wealth, “it turns out to be only two persons who own all those companies, and that I do not think is local content”.
Dr Prempeh congratulated the members of the erstwhile board of the company on “taking corporate social responsibility to a different level” and urged the new board to build upon that.
“However, if you are continuing, we must ensure that the work is relevant to the people in those communities that you are serving,” he said.
The minister also advised people in communities where the resources were located not to claim every benefit accruing from the natural assets because such an attitude was “not good for the entity called Ghana”.
Prof. Owusu, who spoke on behalf of the Energy Commission Board, thanked President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the government for the trust reposed in the members, saying it was an opportunity to serve God and country.
He said even though the task ahead was daunting, the board would work as a team to accomplish it.
Prof. Owusu also stressed the need to ensure that institutions were strengthened, “otherwise we will not see any development”.
For his part, Mr Blay, who is also the Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), gave an assurance that the GNPC Board would be mindful in promoting local content and social responsibility activities in its duties.