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Energy Ministry beats 8 others to win maiden Gas Challenge

BY: Edward Acquah
Dr Ben Asante (5th left), CEO, Ghana National Gas Company (GNGC), and Mr Samuel Nuertey Ayertey (left), the Deputy Eastern Regional Minister, with the finalists in the contest. Picture: EMMANUEL ASAMAOH ADDAI
Dr Ben Asante (5th left), CEO, Ghana National Gas Company (GNGC), and Mr Samuel Nuertey Ayertey (left), the Deputy Eastern Regional Minister, with the finalists in the contest. Picture: EMMANUEL ASAMAOH ADDAI

It was an easy ride for the Ministry of Energy as it wiped the floor clean to win the ultimate title in the finals of the maiden edition of “The Gas Challenge,” a quiz on Ghana’s oil and gas industry, organised by the Ghana National Gas Company (GNGC).

The brain contest, held in Accra last Thursday, saw the ministry garner 64 points to secure the bragging rights over the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) and the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), which scored 48 and 18 points, respectively.

The Graphic Communications Group Limited had shown early promise in the competition’s first stage but fell off narrowly.

Prizes

The Energy Ministry took home two laptops, a shield and GH¢10,000 as the prize for the ultimate winner, while PIAC and GBC received two tablets and a shield each, in addition to GH¢5,000 and GH¢3,000, respectively.

All participating institutions also received GH¢1,000 each as appearance fee and a certificate of participation.

Categories

The Ministry of Energy, PIAC and GBC had all progressed to the final of the competition after topping their respective categories of petroleum regulators, civil society organisations (CSOs) and media practitioners in three separate contests preceding the final.

Although the ministry had proven equal to the perceived advantage it held in the competition, with a wide-margin victory in the opening round contest against the State Enterprises Commission, Ghana, the performance of PIAC and GBC in their respective categories gave some hope of an open contest in the final.

But the anticipated fierce contest in the final became less of a competition for the Energy Ministry, whose contestants capitalised on their technical knowledge of the oil and gas sector to tear off from the rest in the second round to be duly pronounced by the quiz mistress, Mrs Emmanuela Kwao-Boateng, the ultimate winner.

The Gas Challenge

Eight institutions competed in the contest. They included Ghana’s largest newspaper producing company, the Graphic Communications Group Limited, GBC, GH One TV and the Ministry of Energy.

The rest were PIAC, the State Enterprises Commission, the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) and the Kumasi Institute of Technology and Energy (KITE).

The Energy Ministry and the State Enterprises Commission opened the competition in the industry regulators category after the National Petroleum Authority had failed to file a contestant.

ACEP, PIAC and KITE competed in the CSOs category, with PIAC winning in that group with 36 points.

The most tensed and fascinating contest of the preliminary round was among the media houses - GCGL, GBC and GH One TV.
GCGL took the lead in the first round of that category with 14 points only to be overtaken dramatically in the second round by GBC, which topped the rivals by just a point.

That single point proved crucial as the state broadcaster went on to win the category contest.

The euphoria at the quiz grounds reached a crescendo as the fans of the two institutions went into persistent banter during what had become a nerve-racking contest.

Education

Opening the contest, the Chief Executive Officer of the GNGC, Dr Ben K.D. Asante, explained that the aim of the contest was to educate the public on the domestic use of gas, the economic opportunities along the gas value chain, and the health and safety matters related to the use of gas.

He reaffirmed the commitment of the company to give back to society through its corporate social responsibility initiatives.