By Prince Okafor
The Senegalese government has reached out to Nigeria to support its development of oil and gas industry.
The country looks foward to assistance in the areas of security management, national oil company (NOC) organisation, local content regulation and NOC strategies.
Senegalese Energy Minister, Aissitou Sophie Gladima, who disclosed this during a courtesy visit to Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, along with her team, said: “Nigeria’s over 50 years of oil production is an excellent example for Senegal as it is beginning to grow its own industry.”
She expressed interest to join African Petroleum Producers’ Organization, APPO to help the development of the sector in Senegal.
Meanwhile, Sylva commended the efforts of the Senegalese government in seeking Nigeria’s support for the development of its oil and gas sector.
He said that Africa needed to come together and work to support development in the region and reduce over-dependence on foreigners for growth, adding: “I want to use this opportunity to welcome you, as I said, it is important for us as a region to come together because as they say, you have to say yes before someone from outside says yes to you.
“We as Africans must come together to work together in order to chat way forward; we cannot continue to depend on Europe and the outside world.
“In fact, it has been proven that they cannot be responsible for our development, we have to take full responsibility of our development and that is why we are very happy that you are here today.”
Sylva said that Nigeria had some advantages as a country that has been in the oil and gas sector for a very long time and had learnt a lot of lessons and made some mistakes too.
He said that oil production activities started in Nigeria in 1937 but commercial discovery was made in 1950s, adding that first commercial discovery was made in 1956 and first cargo of crude left Nigeria in 1958.
“That means that we have been effectively in oil production for over 60 years, that is some kind of advantage and of course a lot of lessons have been learnt.
“When we started production activities in Nigeria, we were completely spectators, every position was occupied by expatriates, our communities were just onlookers to the activities but since then a lot has happened,” he added.
“It has been a lot of capacity development in Nigeria and today significant percentage of Nigeria’s crude is being produced by Nigerian companies.
“And also, the Nigerian involvement in the IOCs have increased very significantly to the extent that some of them have Nigerians as their Managing Directors in their Nigeria subsidiaries, like the chairman of Shell is a Nigerian,” he said.