The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has called for more concerted African collaboration not only in terms of oil and gas but in other key sectors to frog leap the economies in the continent.
Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, made this submission during his goodwill message at the ongoing inaugural Nigeria International Petroleum Summit (NIPS) held at the International Conference Center in Abuja during the week .
The theme of this year’s conference is “Leading Africa’s Response to Global Oil and Gas Challenges.”
Dr. Baru challenged the participants to come up with practicable solutions to effectively develop Africa’s hydrocarbon resources saying that discussions and interest alike would stir up strategies and actionable items that would crystalize into a veritable roadmap for energy future.
“Our expectation is that at the end of this summit a communique will be issued out as action points for current and potential African oil and gas countries for better collaboration and development,” Dr. Baru stated.
According to him, discussions are expected to cut across the industry value chain with focus areas on deepening collaboration across and within the African Oil and Gas space, modern technologies in the industry, innovative strategies to survive after a global downturn, current trends in the oil and gas markets, Gas to Power, Prospects and Opportunities, Policy and Regulation, Sustainable socio-economic development of the Niger Delta as well as lessons learnt so far from the Nigerian experience.
Dr. Baru pledged the support of the NNPC to nuture the summit to a full-fledged international summit like the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) held in Houston, USA and Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference held annually in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
He applauded the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. IbeKachikwu, for working tirelessly and for ensuring the fruition of the summit stressing that his good works would not go unnoticed.
The GMD noted that NIPS is expected to be Africa’s largest and most important industry platform and linkage to the world adding that after six decades of petroleum exploration and exploitation in Nigeria, the Summit was long overdue.
On his part, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. IbeKachikwu, said Nigeria is expecting investments up to $40 billion in oil projects in the next five years stressing that the Federal Government’s target is to increase domestic refining capacity from 14% to 90% within the next 20 months.
Dr. Kachikwu stated that in the last two years, the Ministry has unveiled the Seven Big Wins, Gas Policy and boosted transparency of the operation of the NNPC to give a strategic policy direction for the Nigeria oil and gas industry adding that the daily national oil production is appreciating owing to the strategic engagements with Niger Delta stakeholders.
Secretary General of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Dr. Mohammed SanusiBarkindo, said the global oil outlook was positive saying that most economies of the world have being impacted by the hydrocarbon resource.
Dr. Barkindo stated that the Declaration of Cooperation has so far paid off with the gradual stability of crude oil price adding that OPEC would continue to play pivotal role in global crude oil demand and supply.
“The Declaration of Cooperation constitutes an unprecedented milestone in the history of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). For the first time ever, the Member Countries of OPEC coordinated with 11 non-OPEC oil producing countries in a concerted effort to accelerate the stabilization of the global oil market through voluntary production adjustments, which amounted to approximately 1.8 million barrels per day,” Dr. Barkindo affirmed.
In his keynote address, President MuhammaduBuhari, represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Boss Mustapha said Nigeria is putting in place appropriate framework that would encourage inflow of investment into the Country.
He lauded the Ministry of Petroleum Resources for organizing the summit assuring that the administration would continue to support initiatives that would boost investment and the national economy.
The Nigeria International Petroleum Summit (NIPS) attracted participants from OPEC, Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF), International Energy Forum (IEF) African Petroleum Producers Association (APPA), members of the Diplomatic Corps, Chief Executives of National Oil Companies and International Oil Companies amongst other relevant Oil and Gas Stakeholders.