Osinbajo tasks African petroleum-producing countries on reforms

Osinbajo tasks African petroleum-producing countries on reforms

Monday, July 24, 2017 10:59 pm

Min. of State for Environment, Alh. Ibrahim Jibrin; Hon Min. of Petroleum and Energy, Rep. of Chad and President of African Petroleum Producers Organization, Bechir Madet; Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN; Min. of State Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu; and Executive Sec. African Petroleum Producers Organization, Mahaman Laouan Gaya. Photo: NOVO ISIORO.

The Acting President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, has advised Ministers of African Petroleum Producers’ Orgnisation (APPO) to  evolve workable reforms  to solve the energy  challenges  and improve energy access on the continent.

Osinbajo made the call while declaring open the extraordinary session of the Council of Ministers of APPO in Abuja on Monday.

APPO was founded in 1986 with its headquarters in Brazzaville, Congo.

The founding of APPO  was spearheaded by  Nigeria as an effort to mitigate the nation’s dependence on western technology and western markets for oil export revenues.

It  was  founded to promote cooperation in petrochemical research and technology.

APPO has 18 countries  in Africa  as members of the organisation.

Osinbajo said  the hosting of the session by Nigeria was  significant, given the volatility of oil prices in the global markets.

He said that the volatility in the petroleum industry had reflected in the revenue base  of African countries.

He said that the revenue accrued from the oil and gas sector accounted for significant percentage of  the budget in most African countries.

“ Governments   are being compared to ask themselves difficult questions about the present and the future, besides the reality of the future, where revenue from  sharply oil drop is already upon us.“

The acting president said there was the urgent need to  adopt  a new approach  in the African oil industry  to  meet the global competitiveness in oil production.

“Almost every major oil importing countries today has embarked on  aggressive  fossil fuel alternative programmes.

“The prosperity  of Africa lies  in  its  human  resources  and talents.

“As the world begins to move in to alternative energy, the reforms championed by APPO will factor in these realities .

“This convince us of the imperative of investing in today fossil fuel in the clean energy technologies that are ready defining  today and tomorrow.

He said that Nigeria shared in the objectives  of APPO and fully supported the reform process  of adopting to the changing realities  of the global oil industry  and the global economic order.

He urged the council of ministers of APPO to  evolve measures of sharing technology to develop the oil sector on the continent.

He also said that APPO  would  also  need to build capacity  to maintain a reliable statistical data  to deploy technology to tract  every crude oil extracted  on  the continent.

He   also advocated the need for  fiscal transparency and accountability  in the sector.

He said that Nigeria was initiating series of reforms to  make the  oil sector  more  efficient,  more transparent, and more attractive to the mainstream and foreign investments.

“ We are also making progress in fine tuning our local content policy and that is one area that   is critical of our continent.“

The acting president further  disclosed that Nigeria  would host  a world class international petroleum summit in February 2018 in Abuja.

He said that the proposed  summit  would be Nigeria ‘s contribution to the  quest for  a sustainable platform for global industry players to come to Africa and discuss ideas on promoting the oil industry.

The Minister of  State for Petroleum Resources,  Dr Ibe Kachikwu, said it was cheering that members of the organisation had seen the need to reform the organisation, given the  increasing complicated nature of the oil environment.

Kachikwu said: “I challenge my  colleagues  to take decision that will make the organisation survive.

“ The  oil world has changed  dramatically; a lot  of us are worried because of the drop in oil  price.“

According to him, most countries that produce oil have lost  their substantial revenue, while some  had  even  lost their capacity  to do some developmental  programmes that they are known for.

He also said the oil  market  was becoming very difficult, noting that  most regions  that produced  oil  in the world  had begun to  reform  their  specific oil  markets.

Kachikwu said that it was  imperative  for  APPO countries  to evolve  ways  to enlarge  the African market  and also protect it.

The minister also emphasised the need to use of technology  to improve oil production on the continent.

He urged APPO members  to evolve a reform to make Africans benefit from the vast deposit of natural resources like oil and gas in the region.

The Executive Secretary of APOO, Mr  Mahaman Gaya, said that Africa was suffering from  energy poverty in spite of  the abundance of energy resources .

He said that there was the need to solve the energy deficit in the region, given the importance of energy to economic development.

He said the reform on the continents’ energy sector was necessary, noting that it would make APPO align itself with  other international organisations pursing the same objectives in the energy sector .(NAN)

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