Story: Hamza Mohammed
The Northern Regional Security Council (REGSEC) has given the firmest assurance yet about its resolve to maintaining the present stability in the region, as the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) prepares to begin drilling an oil and gas exploration well in the Voltaian Basin next year.
The Voltaian Basin spans about 460 communities in 13 Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs).
The Northern Region is home to 10 of MMDAs while the remaining three are located in the Savanna Region.
The many chieftaincy and land disputes which in the past made the Northern Region gain notoriety, remain a major concern for many especially, with plans and steps far advanced for the region to become a potential hub for petroleum production which could attract business and investment from all over the world.
The Northern Regional Security Council, headed by the Regional Minister, Shani Alhaji Shaibu, during a courtesy call by Deputy Energy Minister, Herbet Krapa and management of GNPC led by its Chief Executive Offiicer (CEO), Opoku-Ahweneeh Danquah to update them on the progress of work on the Voltaian Basin Project noted that, after years of patches of conflict, has emerged a peaceful and safe region; ready and suited as a destination for business and industrialization.
“We began this journey in complete awareness of its importance to the development of Ghana and what it would also mean for the region’s growth and you can rest assured that, business climate in this region is healthy and secured,” Mr Shaibu pledged.
He said the REGSEC would continue to work in partnership with all stakeholders to ensure that GNPC achieves its goal of drilling a well in the Voltaian Basin to open the region up to the rest of the world.
On his part, Deputy Energy Minister, Herbert Krapa expressed his appreciation to the Regional Minister for his role in galvanizing support at the administrative and traditional levels; getting opinion leaders and the entirety of the people of the Northern Region to support the project which promises to facilitate the economic growth of the region.
Satisfied with the progress of the project so far, the Deputy Minister reiterated government’s commitment to utilizing revenues from Ghana’s oil activities to meet the developmental needs of Ghanaians.
“Our visit, with the Management of GNPC, is an opportunity to not only monitor the activities of the project directly but to also get feedback on same from stakeholders such as yourself on the progress made so far,” he said. This, he added, will shape the next phase of the project by addressing any pressing issues that may have arisen so far.
Briefing the Northern Regional Security Council on the status of GNPC’s current operations in the Voltaian area, O-A Danquah commended the Regional Minister as head of REGSEC for the cooperation GNPC has enjoyed in the region.
“We have made tremendous progress since the commencement of work in 2017 which casts a positive outlook in relation to Ghana’s quest to find oil onshore; and we are thankful for your incredible commitment and support of this important national task,” he stated.
He said the Voltaian Basin as, potentially, Ghana’s next hydrocarbons basket offers much greater prospects for the country and the Northern Region “potentially far and above the gains made from all of Ghana’s combined offshore interests,” hence the need for strengthening multi-stakeholder engagement and collaboration to ensure successful continuation of the project.