24 July 2017, Sweetcrude, Abuja — The Federal Government, Monday, warned that crude oil was fast disappearing and that the volatility in the global crude oil market poses serious challenges for governments across the African continent and the world in general.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Extraordinary session of the Council of Ministers of the African Petroleum Producers’ Organisation, APPO, in Abuja, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, stated that the volatility had triggered much soul-searching and governments across the continent are compelled to ask themselves difficult but necessary questions about the present and the future.
He declared that the zero oil days are clearly around the corner, while the reality of the future, whereby demands for and revenues from crude oil drop sharply, was already upon us the country and the continent.
According to him, almost every major oil importing country today had embarked on an aggressive non-fossil fuel alternative programme, especially as China, Japan and some Scandinavian states had already set dates, within the next 10 to 15 years, to produce and use only electric vehicles.
However, the Acting President averred that it was unavoidable that Nigeria and some other oil-producing African countries need oil to get out of their dependency on oil.
He said, “The capacity to add value to the crude oil that we extract is crucial. The whole range of the petrochemical enterprise remains a largely untapped option for growing industrial opportunities, creating jobs and increasing our chances of delivering on our national and continental commitment to inclusive growth. We must leverage our resources to fund and to support our ambition to create economies fit and ready for the 21st century.”
Speaking in the same vein, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu, disclosed that technology was moving at a fast pace and as a result of innovation, the oil world is fast disappearing. According to him, with current trends in technology and environmental concerns, it is clear that over the next 20 to 30 years, oil would become a faded product.
He said, “The thing is that most countries that still harbor oil and are getting into oil exploration, have only about a 30-year span, to harness, explore, find, carry and enjoy the full benefits of oil, because, after that, most of the consumers of oil would have moved on to a cleaner source of energy.”
“In addition, the market is becoming very distraught and most regional block producers are beginning to ring-fence specific markets. So you see the Asian, the Gulf countries ensuring that their markets are protected.
“With America pulling out of the larger market as a major importer of oil, and the America first policy, it is becoming absolutely imperative for member countries of this organization, we need to begin to look at the African market and how they can enlarge it, expand it, make it robust and yet protect it, so that those of us who play in that market would be able to have the first opportunity to utilize that market.”