President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday challenged African oil producers to see the huge challenges confronting the oil sector as a unique opportunity for Africa to look beyond the exploitation of oil to the use of other natural resources to upscale national revenues.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the African Petroleum Congress and Exhibition (CAPE VI) in Abuja, Buhari, who was represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo also said Nigeria is on the verge of signing the global agreement on zero routine gas flaring by 2030.
He told the gathering that the current volatility in the oil sector allows lessons to be learnt, synergies to be built and new approaches to be adopted to enable Africa expand its economy, infrastructure and maintain peace.
Heads of delegation of the African Petroleum Producers Association (APPA) and other participants are in Nigeria for the CAPE IV, Africa’s strategic oil and gas meeting holding in Abuja.
Buhari said his administration has commenced the process of implementing carefully conceived initiatives like the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), un-bundling of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), develop stronger policies on local content, encourage efficiencies in oil exploration and reduce gas flaring.
“Nigeria is a member of the World Bank Global Gas Flaring Reduction (GCFR) Partnership and with the support of our legislature; we will sign the United Nations Agreement of “Zero Routine Flaring by 2030” although our national target is 2020. I urge all APPA member countries to set realistic targets for gas flare-out in the region,” he said.
He said the issue of the development of a robust gas infrastructure must be jointly addressed if Africa must meet her future energy needs.
Buhari further maintained that African countries must put in place the right mechanisms to expand the region’s refining capacity, adding that African oil and gas countries have no reason to remain tied to the apron strings of other oil producing countries.
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and APPA President Ibe Kachikwu said African producers will continue to work collaboratively because there is a lot happening in the sector.
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