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Nigeria, others to pool $2bn to finance energy projects

Nigeria, others to pool $2bn to finance energy projects

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Uche Usim, Abuja

Nigeria and other energy producing nations in Africa are fine-tuning plans to pool $2 billion to finance various oil and gas projects on the continent.

The deal being cemented on the platform of African Petroleum Producers Organisation (APPO) also seeks to boost intra-African collaboration by tackling common energy challenges plaguing various African nations.

The Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, who made the disclosure at the Nigerian International Petroleum Summit (NIPS), in Abuja on Monday, said APPO member nations were collaborating to expand the duties of an existing financing body in Africa, which would be renamed African Energy Investment Corporation, and saddled with the responsibility of financing energy projects.

The Minister, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari, at the event explained that most African countries operated in silos, a strategy he said needed to be dismantled.

He said, “Everybody does their own thing; you build your own refineries, plants, gas turbines, among others. If we could just cross the rubicon and be able to extend hands of infrastructural relationship across Africa; build joint pipelines, plants and refineries; begin to protect the African market, we would have taken a huge step, not only in the development of Africa, but on the stabilisation of independent countries.

“We have finished that meeting and signed on to resolutions that endorsed all the changes we have suggested. We are now going to move on to the implementation stages.”

The Minister further listed challenges to the international oil market to include shale, oil pricing, investment limitation and President Trump, among others.

He stated that unless African countries got their policies, market place collaborative mechanisms and infrastructure right, they would face a huge amount of challenges in the competition for the very scarce resources and scarce capital.

Kachikwu further stated that Nigeria has one of the best skill sets in the petroleum industry in the world and was looking at leveraging on this advantage to grow the African petroleum industry and promote collaboration.

He said,  “our skill set is unbelievable. Over 90 per cent of the oil majors’ workforce are Nigerians. This means that some of the best skill sets are here.

One of the things I find going into the NNPC in 2015 was that every detail of capability you need to run a global company sat in NNPC. They are very trained, very well exposed. We have issues in terms of policies, but in terms of skill sets, we are solid.

“Where better to begin to show skills than here?  We are hoping that with the collaborative spirit we are beginning to build, we would be able to export some of these to Africa; sit down with some of those countries coming into oil production for the first time; get some of our local participants and investors to begin to get into those countries and begin to take opportunities of what their blocks offer.”

The post Nigeria, others to pool $2bn to finance energy projects appeared first on The Sun Nigeria.

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