GNPC Releases Two Million Ghana Cedis to UMaT for the start of the construction of first phase of the School of Petroleum Studies Building

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Hon Buah Pesenting the Dummy Cheque to Prof Kuma
Hon Buah Pesenting the Dummy Cheque to Prof Kuma.

The Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), has released an amount of two million Ghana Cedis (GH¢2,000,000.00) to the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT), Tarkwa for the construction of the first phase of the proposed School of Petroleum Studies ultra-modern building on the University Campus. The Minister of Petroleum and some Officials from the GNPC presented the cheque to the Vice Chancellor in the Vice Chancellor’s Office.
After the Vice Chancellor, Prof J.S.Y. Kuma had introduced the Staff of the University present to the Minister and his entourage, he welcomed the Minister and his entourage to the University and recounted the history of the project and talked about the promise the President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency John Dramani Mahama made in March 2014 to request the GNPC to support UMaT to start the School of Petroleum Studies.
The Vice Chancellor also took the opportunity to speak about some of the achievements of the University over the years to the Honourable Minister. He spoke about the quality and uniqueness of the programmes being run in UMaT and indicated that as the only mining University in West Africa, UMaT continues to support local content by producing quality graduates in mining, petroleum and allied engineering disciplines who were working in various industries especially the mining and energy sectors all over the world. 
Prof Kuma informed the Honourable Minister and his entourage about the fact that some students of the University were doing great things thereby making them very competitive and giving them the distinctive edge over their peers from other institutions and winning several awards. He said for example that, between December last year and October this year the University had received several awards.
The current ones were:
In September 2016, a UMaT graduate was the only Ghanaian among fifteen winners of the 2016 Young African Entrepreneurs Competition. The competition attracted 756 applicants from 38 countries. 
In October, 2016, a UMaT student won the 3rd National Quarry Life Awards (QLA) competition organised by Heidelberg Cement (HC) Group. Two other UMaT students placed 4th and 5th. The competition seeks to award the most innovative ideas to reclaim lands and protect biodiversity in areas where the HC Group, of which GHACEM is a member, operates. 
In October 2016, a UMaT student was one of ten finalists of the Africa Energy Generation Prize 2016 and the only Ghanaian. 
Prof Kuma further said that these were some of the testimonies the University could show to prove that although UMaT was small, great things were happening there and therefore it was his believe that the support from GNPC was in the right direction.
Making the presentation to the Vice Chancellor, the Minister for Petroleum, Honourable Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah, reiterated the Government’s resolve to assist UMaT to start the School of Petroleum Studies. He said that because of the efforts UMaT was making in order to become a Centre of Excellence, these efforts have caught the attention of His Excellency President John Dramani Mahama and so he made the decision that UMaT should be assisted to get this project started. He also said that this also fits into the vision of the GNPC. He said further that the Government was focusing on building the capacity of Ghanaians in the Oil and Gas industry.
The Corporate Affairs Manager of GNPC, Carmen Bruce-Annan indicated that their commitment in education was very core to their mandate as a corporation. She also said that there were available placements for national service personnel in petroleum related disciplines and as a result they take this commitment very seriously. She also emphasised that it was important to train skilled Ghanaians locally and so she was happy that GNPC was partnering UMaT to start this project. 
According to the Vice Chancellor, the project is a two 2-storey building which will cost 10.9M Ghana Cedis. However, according to him the first step will be to start one of the 2-story buildings which will cost 5.5M Ghana Cedis. The Vice Chancellor then thanked GNPC and the Honourable Minister for the gesture. 
After the presentation of the dummy cheque, the Minister and his entourage moved to the project site for the sod-cutting ceremony and was supported by the Vice Chancellor and the Corporate Affairs Manager of GNPC.
Source: Paul Y. A. Yeboah, Assistant Registrar (University Relations)
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