02 February 2019, Sweetcrude, Abuja — African Petroleum Producers Organisation, APPO, plans to set up a new financing body, called the African Energy Investment Corporation, to mobilise between $1 billion and $2 billion for infrastructure financing and collaboration among oil-producing countries.
Speaking at the Nigeria International Petroleum Summit in Abuja, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu, said APPO member countries are concerned about the lack of collaboration in the continent, adding that it had become expedient for the countries to partner to drive development in the continent.
He said, “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.
“Today, most 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 a 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.
“We have finished that meeting and signed on to resolutions that endorsed all the changes that we have suggested. We are now going to move on the implementation stages.”
Kachikwu further noted that unless African countries collaborate and get their policies, market place collaborative mechanisms and infrastructure right, they would face a huge amount of challenge in the competition for the very scarce resources and scarce capital.
He added that Nigeria has one of the best skill sets in the petroleum industry in the world and was looking at leveraging on this advantage to grow the African petroleum industry and promote collaboration.
He said, “Our skill sets are unbelievable. Over 90 percent of the oil majors’ workforce are Nigerians. This means that some of the best skill sets are here. One of the things I find going into the NNPC in 2015, was that every detail of capability that you need to run a global company sat in NNPC. They are very trained, very well exposed. We have issues in terms of policies, but in terms of skill sets, we are solid.
“Where better to begin to show skills than here. 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.”