By Michael Eboh

The Federal Government, yesterday, disclosed that it is working with other oil and gas producers in Africa, under the auspices of African Petroleum Producers Organisation, APPO, to raise between $1 billion and $2 billion to finance energy projects and boost collaboration among African countries.

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Speaking at the Nigerian International Petroleum Summit, NIPS, in Abuja, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu, said APPO members were looking at expanding the role of an existing financing body in the continent, which would be renamed African Energy Investment Corporation to undertake the function of energy financing.

He said, “We are presently looking at expanding the role of a particular financing body we are going to be calling the African Energy Investment Corporation. The whole idea is to mobilise between $1 billion and $2 billion of resources to fund all the essentials necessary for us to properly collaborate.

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“Today, most African countries are silos, everybody does their own thing; you build your own refineries, plants, gas turbines etc.  If we could just cross the Rubicon and be able to extend hands of infrastructural relationship across Africa; build joint pipeline, plants and refineries; begin to protect the African market, we would have taken a huge step, not only in the development of Africa, but to the stabilisation of independent countries.

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

Also speaking, Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board, NCDMB, Mr. Simbi Wabote, warned that if local content is not encouraged in the African petroleum industry, Europe and the rest of the world would, in the next 20 years, witness a massive influx of people from Africa with its attendant crisis.

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On his part, Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Mr.  Maikanti Baru, said an example of collaboration can be seen in Nigeria’s collaboration with Morocco to construct a gas pipeline that would traverse at least 15 West African countries and connect the existing Europe gas pipeline.

According to him, the feasibility study had been concluded and the pre-Final Investment Decision, FID, greenfield optimisation study was currently ongoing.


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