*Kachikwu emerges APPO President
11 June 2018, Sweetcrude, Abuja — The Federal Government, Monday, stated that Nigeria would provide the much-needed support for the reforms of the African petroleum industry to make it compete favourably in the global oil and gas landscape.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo made this comment on the emergence of Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, as the President of the African Petroleum Producers’ Organisation (APPO) at the Extraordinary Session of the Council of Ministers of APPO.
Osinbajo commended the organization for the confidence reposed on Nigeria, manifesting in its unanimous agreement to place the responsibility for leading the reforms process on Kachikwu.
He said, “Permit me the immodesty of saying Kachikwu was since March 2016, very much remained at the centre of the reform efforts in the Nigerian oil and gas industry. It is well pleased that he would deliver in this responsibility, given that it is very similar to what he has championed here in the domestic oil and gas front as Minister in the last two and half years.”
He further expressed confidence that given the progress achieved so far in the Nigerian oil and gas industry, the country, Kachikwu and his team would exceed expectations regarding the APPO reforms.
“I want to assure you also that Nigeria would give you all the support you need to render his vision of making APPO hold the world’s major institutions reference on Africa’s hydrocarbon matters and indeed the pride of Africa.
“I am confident that a revitalized APPO would contribute tremendously to the development of the African oil and gas industry, particularly now that Africa is becoming a major global player in the sector,” Osinbajo noted.
He also stated that due to the fact that oil and gas remains a very capital intensive industry, individual countries often do not have the resources required to make the necessary investments in the industry.
According to Osinbajo, this is especially true, because these investments are competing with infrastructure and social services for the limited resources available to governments.
However, he said, “By serving as a platform for increased collaboration and cooperation among member countries, APPO would go a long way towards helping overcome these financial challenges.
“Increased synergy would no doubt help mobilize the investment needed to facilitate and to deliver the major infrastructure required by the continent, such as trans-border gas and oil pipeline, joint refineries, gas plants and so on.
“Nigeria is already leading with our West African Gas Pipeline Project and the Nigeria-Niger collaboration on refining.”
He further stated that in the increasingly interdependent world that we live in today, greater levels of regional integration would be required, allowing the free-flow of the dividends of research and technology.
APPO, he argued, also needs to seriously look beyond public sector or government ownership in its activities and tap into private sector competencies and models to a greater degree.