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DPR counsels Africa to utilise oil, gas reserves for economic development

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Chinazor Megbolu

The Director, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Mr. Sarki Auwalu, has counseled African countries to utilise its oil and gas reserves for the economic development of the continent.

He said this on Wednesday at the opening ceremony of the 5th Edition of the Sub-Saharan African International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference organised by the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN).
Auwalu, speaking at the three-day virtual conference tagged: “Post Covid-19: From Global Crises to Global Opportunities” said: “Indeed, for a better and secured future, Africa must rise to the challenge of harnessing its over 125 billion barrels of proven oil reserves and 625 trillion cubic feet of natural gas for the development of the continent.
“Africa must not be cowed to abandon its quest to grow its economies by the ‘doomsday’ narrative of ‘end of oil’ era and jettison the development of its resources.
“Africa’s resources must be used to fuel Africa’s development; the same
way other continents utilised dirtier fossil fuels to fuel their economic transformation.
“To achieve this, we must take our destinies in our hands and join hands across all spectrum – technical, economic, legal, commercial, operational, financial, and political – drive regional energy security and economic sustainability”.
He maintained that Nigeria is committed to accelerated development of its petroleum resources through the emplacement of appropriate legal framework to support upstream asset acquisition, development, production and exports having recognised the reality of energy transition.
“However, we are putting increased emphasis on midstream investments and gas-focused infrastructural development for domestic value addition via the Refinery revolution and Decade-of-Gas Initiatives.
“The Decade-of-Gas Initiative will leverage Nigeria’s 203 TCF of natural gas reserves for domestic gas supply (Gas-To-Power), Alternative fuels (Gas-To-People) and Gas Based Industrialisation (Gas-To-Derivatives) elements of the Gas-fired Industrial economy agenda within this decade.
“All these efforts will significantly increase the quantum of in-country value addition to drive the contribution of oil and gas to Gross Domestic Production, employment generation and poverty eradication,” Auwalu said.
Meanwhile, the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Mr. Simbi Wabote, noted that the Covid-19 pandemic provided a sad realisation of the importance of local content in the oil and gas sector.
He averred that the organisation would continue to deploy strategies in order to promote local content in Nigeria and within the African continent so as to provide jobs, support businesses and protect investments.
Moreover, the Chairman, PETAN, Mr Nicolas Odinuwe, in his remarks, explained that the aim of the conference was to offer direct access to the primary stakeholders and key players across the entire Sub-Saharan African supply and value chain.
He, however, maintained that there’s the need for continued partnership by African countries towards fostering development of the continent through the utilisation of its oil and gas resources.

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