Lagos — Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva has urged Africa to source for ways of raising funds locally for hydrocarbon projects instead of relying on foreign loans.
In his keynote speech at the maiden edition of the African Local Content Roundtable, ALCR hosted by the NCDMB, the Minister urged African oil-producing countries to break away from burdens of foreign loan lenders.
“…quickly create innovative funding mechanisms for major projects using local resources and break away from the yoke of depending on foreign lenders who are becoming increasingly reluctant to fund hydrocarbon-related projects.”
He charged the countries to cooperate in developing and sharing capacities and capabilities that would optimise hydrocarbon deposits and achieve economic growth and development.
The conference was attended by Nigeria’s oil industry stakeholders and other members of the African Petroleum Producers Association.
It was initiated to develop regional oil and gas investments and renegotiate the COP-21 Climate Change Agreement.
The NCDMB’s Executive Secretary, Simbi Wabote, said the ALCR was part of the board’s 10-Year strategic roadmap and would be extending local content across the continent, ensuring access to market for locally developed capacities.
He recommended the creation of an African Local Content Fund to institutionalise funding for the development of oil and gas projects in Africa. He was quoted as saying that the arrangement had become crucial due to the declaration of countries and banks to stop funding hydrocarbon related projects.
“These funds can also be utilized to part-finance infrastructural projects in support of the production of oil and gas products for use by Africans,” he said.
Wabote also said nations could not develop by staying as consumers of foreign technology, adding, “Local content thrives when there is robust research and development guideline to drive the development of home-grown technology.”