By Gift Olivia Samuel, The Sight News
ABUJA— As the need for collaboration among African Oil Producing countries deepen, the President, African Petroleum Producers Organisation (APPO) and Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has disclosed, that APPO is seeking to mobilise about $1bn of resources to fund all the essentials necessary for them to properly collaborate.
This is just as he noted, that unless policies, market place, collaborative mechanisms and infrastructure are right, Africa would continue facing a huge amount of challenge in the competition for the very scarce resources and scarce capital.
Kachikwu, who said this on Monday while speaking at the Nigeria Petroleum International Summit (NIPS) 2019 holding in Abuja, noted that a major reform aimed at repositioning APPO to make it relevant was recently completed, adding also that they are presently looking at expanding the role of a particular financing body to be called the African Energy Investment Corporation.
According to him, “We are presently looking at expanding the role of a particular financing body we are going to be calling the African Energy Investment Corporation.
“The whole idea is to mobilise between $1 billion and $2 billion of resources to fund all the essentials necessary for us to properly collaborate”.
The Minister of State who spoke on the theme “Africa on the Global Stage: International Collaboration, Opportunities & the Future”, stated that part of the reforms identified by the APPO included an increased synergy that would help mobilize the investment needed to facilitate and deliver the major infrastructure required by the continent, such as trans-border gas and oil pipeline, joint refineries, gas plants and others.
Furthermore, he stated that most African countries presently work independently without collaboration, stressing that collaboration is necessary for development.
“Today, African countries are silos, everybody does their own thing. You build your own refineries, plants, gas turbines etc. If we could just cross the rubicon and be able to extend hands of infrastructural relationship across Africa; build joint pipeline, plants and refineries; begin to protect the African market, we would have taken a huge step, not only in the development of Africa, but to the stabilisation of independent countries”, he said.
Kachikwu, while pointing out that over 90 per cent of the oil major workforce are Nigerians, added that the issues does not lie with skill sets but policies.
“We have issues in terms of policies, but in terms of skill sets, we are solid. 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.
“Africa, the time has come. Unless we protect our border posts, unless we begin to look more to the continent; unless we begin to look more to financing that 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 emphasized.
APPO, which is made up of 18 member oil producing countries, accounts for nearly 95 per cent of Africa’s oil production and at least 13% of world production.