African oil producers urged to partner with Nigeria

Timothy Choji, Abuja

African oil producers and African nations have been urged to embrace the world of opportunities Nigeria has and partner with the country, in order to succeed in the oil and gas sector.

Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo made the call at the opening of the Congress of African Petroleum Producers Association APPA.

The Vice President said “the economic threats, the fall in oil prices the world over are real and something must be urgently done to address them, so as to secure the future.”

Expertise and Relevance

Declaring the Congress open, Vice President Osinbajo said it was time for the expertise and relevance of APPA to be tested, taking into consideration current economic threats posed by dwindling global oil prices.

“This important meeting comes at a time of grave challenges for the oil and gas industry, especially for petroleum producers in Africa where hydrocarbons account for significant proportions of government revenue. With oil prices falling and actual profits over cost of production also declining sharply, industrial organisations such as APPA have an enormous burden of responsibility to bear,” The Vice President stated.

IMG_20160314_112938He disclosed some of the steps already taken by Nigeria in addressing the oil and gas needs of the country and by extension, West Africa.

“Nigeria has established the Nigeria Gas Company NGC to provide gas transportation to newly established power plants and to facilitate domestic energy supply. On the regional level, Nigeria is actively involved in the West African pipeline project that is expected to deliver clean-safe-natural gas from Nigeria to many West African countries,” Professor Osinbajo said.

Gas Flaring

He advised APPA countries to set realistic targets for gas flaring and also focus on exploring mechanisms for refining capacities in an efficient and cost effective manner.

“Together we have all the resources we need and we can develop all the necessary capacity and there is no reason why the African oil and gas industry should be attached to the apron stables of oil industries elsewhere,” he advised.

Executive Secretary of APPA, Mr Mahaman Gaya challenged Nigeria to take the leading role as the African continent seeks resurgence in the petroleum sector.

“The congress of African Petroleum Producers Association which is Africa’s most strategic oil and Gas meeting takes place after every three years. It offers a unique platform of opportunities to share expertise, discuss strategies for developing oil activities, investments and partnerships in Africa,” Gaya explained.

Universal Concerns

President of APPA, Mr Ibe Kachikwu, who is also Nigeria’s Minister of state, Petroleum Resources, said APPA is essential in addressing the situation in the oil sector, which he said is so critical.

“At a time when there are universal concerns on whether really oil should be the right medium of energy resource. At a time when there is need for us to come cohesively together as a block to provide a common front. At such a time, APPA is essential and this meeting could not have come at a better time,” he said.

The event also featured an exhibition of petroleum products by Nigeria and other African countries as well as oil companies operating in the region.