‘Oil discoveries across Africa may remain untapped over funding’
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday, said unless the continent finds a sustainable solution, especially in the area of finance, most discoveries on the continent may remain untapped.
Speaking in Abuja at the Extraordinary Session of the Council of Ministers of African petroleum Producers’ Organisation (APPO), Buhari, who was represented by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, expressed displeasure with the achievement of the organisation, which was set up to provide a platform for cooperation and collaboration as well as knowledge and competencies sharing among African oil producing countries.
While APPO last met in Abuja last year, with a resolution to reform the association to reflect the paradigm shift in the global oil and gas sector, APPO is currently looking to also reform its fund for International Development, renaming it as African Energy Investment Corporation (AEICORP).
With the ongoing reform, APPO Council of Ministers had agreed to open up equity ownership to private and financial institutions with recapitalization of equity to $1 billion and the establishment of a new Board of Directors with membership from both the public and private sectors.
Buhari sees the move as an avenue that may improve the funding gap on the continent, stressing that the importance of the recapitalization, would help the continent in the face of the global paradigm, shift away from oil as energy source, particularly as investment funds are fast drying up for the oil industry.
“This is happening at a time Africa is finding more and more oil and gas. Without the required funds, these reserves will remain in the ground, untapped and un-accessed, while our people go without energy.
“I want to encourage our members countries to make equity subscription to AEICORP in order to ensure consequential investment by Sovereign Wealth Funds, National Oil Companies or any other designated organizations of Existing Members and Non members of APPO, African/International Private Banks, Financial Institutions, and African/International Private Investors.,” Buhari said.
Decrying that Africa has over 600 million out of the 850 million people in the world, who do not have access to modern energy, the President said there was need to exploit the continent’s energy resources to address the energy crisis.