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Buhari seeks continental synergy on oil, gas challenges

By Kingsley Jeremiah, Abuja
29 January 2019   |   4:17 am
President Muhammadu Buhari has called on African nations to synergise on enhanced hydrocarbon revenue in the wake of the challenges...

[FILE PHOTO] President Muhammadu Buhari

•Tasks indigenous firms on 30 per cent national output
President Muhammadu Buhari has called on African nations to synergise on enhanced hydrocarbon revenue in the wake of the challenges posed by volatility of oil prices, pressure from United States President Donald Trump, environmental concerns and rapid technology development.

Opening the 2019 Nigeria International Petroleum Summit yesterday in Abuja, Buhari sought support for indigenous companies in the exploration and production sub-sectors to increase their national oil output from 12 per cent to 30 per cent.

Represented by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, the president stated that the African Petroleum Producers Organisation (APPO) would launch a $2 billion development finance corporation to connect the continent through oil infrastructure.

He told the gathering of industry players across the globe that “unless you get your policies right; unless you get your market place right; unless you get your collaborative mechanisms right and get your infrastructure right; you would face a huge amount of challenge in the competition for the very scarce resources and capital.”

Buhari noted that the existing local content and skill development in Nigeria remained a model to other African countries.

The president continued: “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.

“(For) Africa, the time has come. Unless we protect our borders, unless we begin to look more to the continent, unless we begin to look more to financing what we can find locally, unless we begin to look for African financial entities that would help us develop the key infrastructure that we need in this sector, we would have lost a huge opportunity.”

He advocated a partnership that creates wealth and on the continent.

Also speaking at the event, titled “Shaping the Future through Efficiency and Innovation,” the Group Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru, stated that the pre-Final Investment Decision for Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline was ongoing, adding that the feasibility study had been concluded.

The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Simbi Wabote, urged operators to create jobs and check migration of Africans to the western world.

He insisted that the international community would benefit when jobs are moved to Africa through local content.

The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mohammed Bello, represented by his Permanent Secretary, Ohaa Chinyeaka Christian, stated that oil spillage and gas flaring remained major issues government must address, stressing that stakeholders must seize the occasion to proffer solutions to the problems.