Monday, July 24, 2017 10:59 pm
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)