The current economic situation of Ghana cannot be overlooked considering the hardship that many Ghanaians are facing.
Believe it or not, situations and lives have changed and will continue to change in the many years to come. Ghana is experiencing a deep economic crisis, with rampant inflation that has reached beyond the expectation of many. The country has faced several protests in recent times because of the situation, already admitted by the president Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. To overturn the fortunes of a country like Ghana may or may not be too difficult. Ghana’s economic crisis can be easily overturned but lives lost cannot be brought back, according to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in one of his addresses to the nation during Covid-19 lockdown era. President Akufo-Addo assured the nation of his administration’s commitment to taking the economy back to where Ghana’s economic situation ought to be growing for the betterment of all.
According to President Akufo-Addo, the country had in recent times witnessed difficulties in the management of the economy, largely as a result of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the global economy and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“The basic commitment to resolving these challenges, within the framework of due process and democratic institutions, must remain unshaken and I am confident that, God-willing, we will overcome these challenges.
“We overcame the fearsome Covid-19 menace with a resolution, desired for actions and correct policy, and we will overcome our current economic challenges with the same mixture of determination, energy, and appropriate policy.
“We will do so again. In fact, in the last quarter of 2021, the recovery from Covid-19 appeared to be on course, when our economy grew at seven percent (7%), only for the Russian invasion of Ukraine in the first quarter of this year to exacerbate our challenges. We will overcome them,” President said.
Looking at the various development projects by Ghana National Gas Company in communities across the length and breadth of the country, it is clear that the gas company has proved beyond all reasonable doubt that it is ready to support the development of this country.
The board of the gas company and its Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Ben Asante, are of the view that individual development must not be left to go waste. Ghana Gas, therefore, recognizes the contribution of every community especially the affected communities and resolved to treat its individuals fairly, equitably and competitively, particularly since the resources belong to all citizens. The country’s gas processing plant is situated at Atuabo and hoping to add a second gas processing plant to upgrade its operations, hence, producing the gas in a large quantity to aid development across the country and in every community. It is worthy to note that Ghana Gas derives its obligation to construct a second gas processing plant from the 2022 State of the Nation address by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. Ghana’s president was emphatic that Ghana Gas will be building a second Gas Processing Plant with a higher capacity than the existing gas processing plant.
According to the USAID report, Ghana has one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, but the country’s long-term economic growth is challenged by high energy costs, high level of government debt, including in the energy sector, low access to credit; high borrowing costs; low agricultural productivity. The USAID is helping the country to address the above-mentioned challenges through programs that promote a more diversified economy with a broader export base while addressing the long-term economic impacts of Covid-19; increased private sector-led investment; expanded use of affordable energy; healthy, skilled citizens participating in the economic and social development process; and increased incomes. But the question is, Will Ghana be able to come out of these challenges and get the economy back on track? Will government institutions be able to provide a lasting solution to the challenges? Ghana is a beautiful country with beautiful people, people with class, responsible citizens and very prayerful people with hard working citizens.
Ghana Gas is working with its financiers to build the new Gas Processing Plant with a capacity of 200MMSCFD, which will increase the processing capacity from 150MMSCFD to 350MMSCFD with room for future incremental flows. Ghana’s existing gas processing plant can produce a maximum of 150MMSCFD by 2025. Through the great vision of the Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Ben Asante, together with the board led by Chairman Kennedy Agyapong and management of the company, indigenization of Ghana gas company has saved the country over $3 million a month and also provided direct and indirect job opportunities to over 1,200 Ghanaians both at Atuabo, Prestea, Takroadi, Kumasi, and Accra. I am told this indigenization process by the gas company has not only provided development opportunities to Ghanaians but has also provided massive infrastructure development in the area of health, education, sports and water and sanitation through its social responsibility projects.
The company is built on supporting in the area of education, sports, health and water and sanitation. At Winneba, Efutu Municipal, the company has provided them with an artificial turf, which is far advanced and will soon be completed. This will help residents unearth talents and shape their footballing skills which in a long run will impact the country. All the necessary requirement to build an Astro-turf have been provided and ready to complete. In Cape Coast South, the gas company is constructing an 11-unit classroom block at Philip Quaicoe Anglican School. The project is there to help reduce the burden of pupils staying outside classroom. It is expected to provide a befitting study space to the community to have a sound educational facility for learning. In the Cape Coast metropolis, in Wesley Girls SHS to be precise, the gas company is extending the Dining Hall by constructing a befitting Dinning Hall for the students.
The Dining Hall was in a bad state but with the intervention of Ghana Gas and the vision of the Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Ben Asante, the school is getting a modern Dining Hall. The success story of the gas company can never be told by anybody who knows nothing about the operations but rather someone who was or is part of the day-to-day operations of the company.
Most communities that are beneficiaries of the various ongoing projects are doing so through the indigenization policy, have been able to save this country $3m from foreigners and given back to society through CSR contributions, a move which ought to be commended.
Just as Ghana National Gas Company recognizes the contribution of its wonderful employees and treat them fairly and equitably, Ghanaian citizens are challenging leaders to recognize the company’s contributions to easing the economic hardship in order to be able to turn the economy around to the benefit of all Ghanaians. We are hoping that the economy of Ghana and the contribution of Ghana National Gas Company will overturn our economic hardship and bring a positive change to favour all.
By Romeo Oduro