The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has offered to assist its counterpart in Sierra Leone, the Petroleum Regulatory Agency (PRA), to improve efficiency in regulating the petroleum downstream in that country.
In furtherance to this, a team from the NPA, led by its 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.
The partnership between the two entities will, among other things, share experiences in terms of structures, processes, policies and procedures in regulating the petroleum downstream sector.
Addressing the Sierra Leonean team, Dr. Abdul-Hamid stated that cooperation was the only way the two entities can advance the development of their countries.
“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 Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali and other neighboring countries and there is crisis in any of these countries, Ghana or other neighbours get the spill over effect,” he emphasized.
The NPA boss pledged Ghana’s willingness to assist Sierra Leone to develop its petroleum downstream industry.
“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 added.
Recounting Ghana’s experience on regulation of the petroleum downstream industry, Dr. Abdul-Hamid said what has been helping the people is also the active participation of government through its entities such as Goil and BOST, unlike Sierra Leone that depends wholly on private players that normally decide what happens.
He commended Dr. Baluwa Koroma for his transformational leadership for the past three years which has seen new important players within the sector.
For his part, Dr. Koroma said PRA was looking forward to strengthening its relationship with the NPA and indicated that a team will 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 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.
The Minister emphasized the importance of the visit and appealed for support in terms of capacity building.
He said with similar cultural environment and history, Ghana is a better model for Sierra Leone to learn from.
The delegation toured the newly refurbished tank farm facility operated by All Petroleum Products Company at Kissy Town in Freetown.