By Ayobami Adedinni
The Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries need to continue to cooperate with each other to achieve the desired success stories in the industrialisation and developments in the resources, especially in the Oil and Gas sector.
This was contained in Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources’ keynote speech at the fourth edition Sub-Saharan African Upstream Oil and Gas Summit and Exhibition held on April 11-13, 2018 at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, Nigeria, highlighting that the SSA as a geopolitical zone is attracting considerable attention as human capital and natural resources provide building blocks of a sustainable economy.
Dr. Kachikwu ably represented by Mr. Gbite Adeniji, his Special Technical Adviser (STA), extolled the Summit for providing veritable platform for intellectual discourse, knowledge sharing and showcasing giant strides made by the industry as well as the theme: ‘Gearing Up for Growth: Sub-Saharan Africa Oil, Gas and Power Value Chain’.
The Minister rated high the current reform of the African Petroleum Producers Organisation, championed by Nigeria as a major key collaborative effort that must be pursued to achieve the Continent’s lofty aspirations as a geopolitical bloc.
“Oil, Gas and Power yield a variety of benefit to our countries, ranging from revenues for governments, nations’ development, to employment opportunity for our citizens;
“The different segments, upstream to downstream, undoubtedly bring benefit to our nations. As such realization of the entire value chain of these petroleum resources within our countries, presents a virile opportunity to alleviate socio-economic challenges and foster sustainable growth in our countries”.
He said there was no better time than now to take all necessary actions that would facilitate the realisation of these potentials for desired success stories.
The Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Roadmap ‘7 big wins, Dr Kachikwu said, reflects the country’s efforts towards realization the value chain of oil, gas and power.
“The 7 key initiatives entail an interplay of innovative technology, economics and public policy,” he added.
Speaking further, he said the present administration has deployed framework for the value chain of gas to be extended. “The Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialization Programme (NGFCP) targets to eliminate flares by ensuring that these currently unexploited gases are converted into benefits using proven technological innovations, while also perpetuating socio-economic benefits for the Country”, the Minister explained.
On the state of the local refineries, he said, “Our refinery initiative drive is yielding result, as numerous investors/licensees are presently at advanced stages of modular refinery establishment with planned commissioning of at least two modular refineries before the end of the year”.
Security-wise, the keynote Speaker said that the state of security in the local communities in the Niger-Delta has improved due to constant engagement with the oil producing regions. “The most glaring result is the rise in GDP (to 1.40%), partly attributed to the stable and sustained level of petroleum production.
Earlier, ‘Dapo Ayoola, Managing Director & CEO of Zenith Professional Training (ZPT) Limited; the managers of the Summit, said that the platform was conceived as means for exchange of ideas on the mutually beneficial opportunities by oil, gas and power sectors.
According to Ayoola, the theme was carefully selected to deliver the maximum returns to all participants hence the addition, for the first time, an investment forum dubbed ‘Invest Energy Africa’ and a session dedicated to women in petroleum.
“Africa is the last true oil and gas frontier with more than 4,200 oil and gas blocks identified. Almost half of these blocks are open, subject to force majeure or in the application phase.
“More that 80% of the 1,300 blocks in North Africa are licensed, while in Sub-Sahara Africa, it is estimated that only about 30% of 2,900 blocks are licensed. It is evident that many new opportunities still exist, especially for the exploration and production companies that are willing to take risks,” he said.
Participants at the three day event were drawn Government/policy makers, investors in the oil, gas and power sectors in Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania, among others.