NIGERIA, OTHERS FINE-TUNE PLANS TO POOL $2BN TO FUND ENERGY PROJECTS

NIGERIA, OTHERS FINE-TUNE PLANS TO POOL $2BN TO FUND ENERGY PROJECTS

Nigeria and other African energy producing nations are fine-tuning plans to generate $2 billion to fund oil and gas projects in the continent.

The African Petroleum Producers Organisation (APPO) who is facilitating the deal equally aims at strengthening intra-African collaboration by addressing major energy challenges militating against many African countries.

APPO member nations’ collaboration is grounded on a mission to enlarge the responsibilities of an existing financing institution in Africa, which will be renamed African Energy Investment Corporation, and charged to be responsible for financing energy projects.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, declared this on Monday at the Nigerian International Petroleum Summit (NIPS), in Abuja.

Representing President Muhammadu Buhari, the Minister asserted that most countries in Africa operated in silos, a strategy he considered irrelevant and needed to be destroyed.

“Everybody does their own thing; you build your own refineries, plants, gas turbines, among others. If we could just cross the rubicon and be able to extend hands of infrastructural relationship across Africa; build joint pipelines, plants and refineries; begin to protect the African market, we would have taken a huge step, not only in the development of Africa, but on the stabilisation of independent countries.

“We have finished that meeting and signed on to resolutions that endorsed all the changes we have suggested. We are now going to move on to the implementation stages” Kachikwu said.

He cited shale, oil pricing, investment limitation and President Trump among others as major challenges to the international oil market.

According to him, African countries would continue to face many challenges in the competition for very scarce resources and scarce capital unless they had their policies, market collaborative mechanisms and infrastructure rights.

Citing Nigeria as having the required skill sets in the petroleum industry across the globe, Kachikwu further maintained that the country would use its potential to grow the African petroleum industry and promote collaboration.

“Our skill set is unbelievable. Over 90 per cent of the oil majors’ workforce are Nigerians. This means that some of the best skill sets are here.

“One of the things I find going into the NNPC in 2015 was that every detail of capability you need to run a global company sat in NNPC. They are very trained, very well exposed. We have issues in terms of policies, but in terms of skill sets, we are solid.

“Where is better to begin to show skills than here?  We are hoping that with the collaborative spirit we are beginning to build, we would be able to export some of these to Africa; sit down with some of those countries coming into oil production for the first time; get some of our local participants and investors to begin to get into those countries and begin to take opportunities of what their blocks offer,” Kachikwu said.