Ghana to assist Sierra Leone on petroleum regulation
The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) would be assisting the Petroleum Regulatory Agency (PRA) of Sierra Leone to improve efficiency in regulation of the petroleum downstream in the country.
This came through a request by PRA-SL to partner with Ghana’s NPA in their pursuit to improve their human resource capacity, legal and institutional reforms in their operations.
This happened when a team from the NPA, led by NPA Chief Executive Dr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, paid a working visit to the Executive Chairman of PRA Brima Baluwa Koroma and his team in Freetown in Sierra Leone.
Through a partnership, the two institutions are to share experiences in terms of structures, processes, policies, and procedures in regulating the downstream petroleum sector.
Dr Abdul-Hamid, said, “The only way we can get out of our developmental challenges is by cooperating with each other. We are the only ones who are interested in the development of our countries and neighbouring countries.”
“Because if I am not interested in the development of the Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali and other neighbouring countries and there is a crisis in any of these countries, Ghana or other neighbours get the spillover effect,” he stated.
He then pledged Ghana’s willingness to assist Sierra Leone in the petroleum sector.
“We mainly came to offer assistance to the PRA in order for Sierra Leone to be able to regulate the downstream sector better by crafting out a system that will ensure efficiency,” he said.
Recounting Ghana’s experience, he noted that the active participation of the government through its entities has contributed to the country’s success story in the sector.
He paid tribute to the Ghana Oil Company (Goil) and the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company (BOST) for their role in that regard.
Unlike Sierra Leone that depends solely on private players in the downstream in making major decisions, Ghana has the government being pivotal in such decision-making processes.
Dr Abdul-Hamid commended Dr Baluwa Koroma for his transformational leadership for the past three years, which has seen new important players within the sector.
Strengthening relations for development in the petroleum downstream sector
Dr Koroma of PRA said they would strengthen the relationship with the NPA and indicated that a team would be sent to Ghana to learn on regulatory frameworks which will be beneficial to the Sierra Leonean petroleum downstream industry.
“We cannot overemphasize the timeliness of this visit, as this industry is under massive reforms. Sierra Leone needs Ghana in every capacity, and it is our desire to tap onto opportunities and experiences from Ghana that will enable us to overcome the emerging industrial challenges.”
He also indicated that there are many investment opportunities in the petroleum downstream sector, especially in storage and distribution value chains.
The NPA delegation later met with the sector minister, Dr Edward Hinga Sandy, the Minister of Trade and Industry.
At the meeting, the minister underscored the importance of the visit and appealed for support in terms of capacity building. He said with a similar cultural environment and history, Ghana was a better model for Sierra Leone to learn from.
The delegation also toured the newly refurbished tank farm facility operated by All Petroleum Products Company at Kissy Town in Freetown.