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African oil producers advocate for regional investments



Chinazor Megbolu

The African Petroleum Producers Association (APPO) is pushing for regional investments amongst others.

This was a joint decision taken by Nigeria and other  African countries in a bid to develop regional oil and gas investments and renegotiate the COP-21 Climate Change Agreement, which is driving the accelerated move by developed nations to disuse fossil fuels (oil and gas) as the preferred source of energy for transportation and embrace renewable sources.
Speaking at the maiden event, held physically and virtually in Bayelsa State, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Timipre Sylva urged African oil-producing nations and their oil and gas firms to cooperate closely in developing and sharing capacities and capabilities that would optimise hydrocarbon deposits and achieve economic growth and development.
He said that it was time to create innovative funding mechanisms for major projects using local resources and break away from the yoke of depending on foreign lenders who are becoming increasingly reluctant to fund hydrocarbon-related projects.
Sylva also noted that he was hopeful the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) would make it possible for well-established local manufacturing, operating and service companies to operate across the continent’s hydrocarbons industry without hitches.
Meanwhile, the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Simbi Wabote, in his address, posited that the African Local Content Roundtable is a key initiative of the Board’s Nigerian Content 10-Year Strategic Roadmap and the intent is to extend Local Content across the African continent and ensure access to market for capacities that have been developed locally.
He further suggested that one of the strategies for growing local content in the continent is by creating an Africa Local Content Fund that could be utilised to set up a bank or finance institution to provide funding for the development of oil and gas projects in Africa.
“These funds can also be utilized to part-finance infrastructural projects in support of production and evacuation of oil and gas products for use by the African populace,” he said.
Wabote also buttressed that there’s a need for APPO members to invest in research and development.
According to him;  “no nation can really develop by being a consumer of other countries technology and intellectual properties.
“Local content thrives where there is robust research and development guideline to drive development of home-grown technology.  Countries that have witnessed appreciable local content level such as Brazil attributed the growth to the priority attention given to R&D.”
Moreover, the Secretary General, APPO, Dr. Omar Farouk Ibrahim stated that the plan by the APPO in partnership with the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other like-minded bodies to demand for the renegotiation of the climate change agreement during the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) scheduled for November 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland.
“Our position is that we have looked at the 2015 COP 21 Climate Change Agreement and we believe that there is a need for some review of some things that our leaders signed on our behalf.
“Oil is the main stay of our national economies and we want the life of oil to last as long as possible to enable us use the revenue to effectively diversify our economies,” he said.

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