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Businesspeople in Cabo Delgado acknowledged in Pemba on Monday that they are not in a position to respond effectively and competitively to the needs of the oil and gas industry in that province, Rádio Moçambique reports.
They were therefore asking for government help to increase their capacities and skills.
In a communication presented yesterday during the Conference on Local Content in the Oil and Gas sector, the Provincial Business Commission (CEP) said that most of the 2,298 small and medium enterprises operating in Cabo Delgado were disappointed and distrustful.
According to Gulamo Abubacar, the local private sector invested in preparation for participation in the oil and gas sector, but because expectations had been that 2018 would be the year of gas exploration, many entrepreneurs were now in financially weakened situation.
“The government and the implementing companies have mismanaged expectations around the projects, both in terms of size and timing. This lesson needs to be learned,” Abubacar said.
Addressing the National Hydrocarbons Company (ENH), organiser of the event, Cabo Delgado’s CEP challenged public institution to make information on the oil and gas business available at the level of the areas where the projects are implemented.
“Without information, the private sector can hardly rise to the challenge of the future. At this moment I must say that the perspectives are not clear because they want us to participate in things that we are not informed of,” the business leader said.
In response to his concerns, the chairman of ENH’s Board of Directors, Omar Mithá, said that the ENH would soon open offices in Pemba and in the village of Palma, the district headquarters.
“From now on we are going to make information available so that entrepreneurs do not take on debt investing in something about which they have no information. We acknowledge that the timetable previously presented for the start of gas exploitation was not observed, but this was due to the world economic situation, which led to the fall in gas prices and affected the investment dynamics,” Mithá explained.
Also during a conference, the governor of Cabo Delgado, Celmira da Silva, assured that the renewal of the CEP, which occurred a few months ago, and the beginning of its reorganisation, represents a remarkable advance in the organisation of private sector participation in the process, that this involvement would require large investments.
Conference attendees not only had the opportunity to hear technical information about local content from some of the panellists from the Ministry of Economy and Finance, but also from experts from Angola and Ghana, countries with experience in implementing local content policies. Source: Rádio Moçambique