12 August 2018, Sweetcrude, Lagos — Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu has said it is important for oil companies to take seriously their social responsibilities.
He made the statement in the June/July 2018 Bulletin of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC.
According to him, the bad state of oil-producing states in Nigeria necessitates his call for action on the part of oil companies operating in the country.
“…it is important to get oil companies to take very seriously their social responsibilities,” he said. “Whenever I fly over the Niger Delta and all the oil-producing terrains, I can see what damage has been done everywhere and how little prepared we are for life after oil.”
In this regard, he said it is vital that oil companies cooperate with these communities.
He added that countries must look at what they can do to ensure that those who have the assets and resources are better-taken care of, and investors need to look at what sort of return makes it worth their while to make these investments.
Kachikwu said that while “we are focused on the short-term concerns of cooperation … we must also focus on cooperation to look at long-term challenges for developing countries,” and the owners of these resources who have no access to the benefits coming from their oil and who may not even have access to electricity.
He also emphasised energy sustainability and energy cooperation, and how this relates to developing countries, in particular.
Historically, he said developing countries have often been left behind, as the industrialised world has transitioned through the various energies, as well as in terms of technology.
He also added that “we depend really on the technology of other countries and the fact is costs to produce oil are spiraling out of control and we are not able to contain these costs even in our countries.”
In many ways, he said, “cooperation for us and sustainability is also about humanity.” He stressed that “humanity must come into play in some of the decisions that we make.”