Petroleum summit successful, says Osinbajo


…as Kachikwu targets full refining production 2019
As the Nigeria international petroleum summit ended, Nigeria’s Vice-president Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has said that the success of the summit has provided a platform for oil and gas exploration in Africa to thrive after decades of wobbling.

Osinbajo said this while declaring close a week-long international oil summit in Abuja.

According to the vice-president, the summit must have given birth to future summits of this kind, as African countries will henceforth begin to find ways of solving numerous problems militating against the progress of the industry.

He said, “it is pertinent to say that an increased number of African countries in the oil industries calls for a proper innovative means of developing the sector for economic benefits.

“The summit, also has found a ground for the survival of local content, technological means and the ground for industrial fabrications, as well as educational solutions for industrial managers”.

Osinbajo also noted that the summit, has opened up so many intellectual challenges to African countries, which is enormous. And at the same time provide synergy among the oil producing African countries.

He said, “We believe that the cooperation among African countries should be able to remove all encumbrances bedeviling the already omnibus industry”.

He however, thanked the petroleum ministry for the ability to put the summit together.

Meanwhile, the Minister of State for Petroleum Dr. Ibe kachikwu, who spoke earlier, said that the summit has become a regulatory system by which investors and players in the industry would fall back on for the ease of doing business in Africa.

He further stated that this has provided a huge challenge on how and where the industry operates.

Also he said that the summit will in the long run, enshrine transparency in the scheme of things, which stakeholders have said has been part of the problem that has crippled the industry.

He said, “we make bold to say that when ever we are transparent, investors can confidently troop in to herald the sector”.

On government subvention to the local industry, he said that the N40 billion injected, is nothing to bring the industry to an enviable height, adding: “what we are asking for is as much as $100 bn to drive the sector. A huge amount of money is needed to downstream sector.”

He said that the stakeholders, have pointed security as one of the bane of the industry, as a lot is needed to be done to ensure that the oil producing areas are secured.

He said that host communities according to the stakeholders, have considered the proper relationship with the host communities as this would give way to restiveness, which hinders oil exploration.

Among the points raised by the participants as debilitating to the sector also included lack of proper policies to enforce some laws, total replacement of oil and gas pipelines across the country as almost all of them had remained there for decades, and should be handed over to the private sector for steady power supply.

Others include insufficient power supply. He said that any nation without steady power is doomed industrially.

The minister also hinted that the injection of at least 50 per cent local content is key to the full blown industrial development, as the country is hopeful that 2019 will mark the full refinery production capacity in Nigeria.

The summit, according to the minister, has provided a ground for the rebutting of industrial education for a full takeover of the sector in Africa, as the continent needs a 100 per cent breed of companies for industrial participation.

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Ihesiulo Grace

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