Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has assured oil and gas operators of Nigeria’s commitment to creating the enabling environment for the industry to achieve its destiny in Africa.
Osinbajo spoke at the closing ceremony of the first edition of the Nigerian International Petroleum Summit held at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.
“As you are aware, in our determination to introduce legislation that will remove all encumbrances to efficient conduct of oil and gas businesses, and learning from past experience, we split the omnibus Petroleum Industry Bill into a number of proposed legislations, some of which have been approved already by the Executive Council for presentation to the National Assembly for their consideration,” he said.
He said the National Assembly had done a lot of work on the bill already.
Osinbajo called for increased among African oil-producing countries to tackle the enormous challenges facing them, including volatility in oil price and the development of alternatives to fossil fuel.
He said many of the traditional markets for oil in Europe and Asia were developing alternatives even as some African countries were discovering oil.
He said: “The volatility of the oil market is another serious challenge. These are not challenges that can be addressed successfully solely by countries taking independent decisions. Collaboration, synergies and knowledge sharing are critical. For us in Africa, we have to work hard to make the best of our God-given resources before it is too late. Together, we can surmount our hurdles faster than if we try to do so individually.”
The vice president urged the African oil ministers and stakeholders to look for solutions to resolve the challenges that impede the growth of industry, commerce and of economy generally.
He said the increasing number of African countries joining the league of oil and gas producing states calls for greater cooperation among the old and new in the industry.
Professor Osinbajo advised the African oil stakeholders to learn from Nigeria’s experience in prospecting oil, which spans over 30 years.
“With the largest proven gas reserves in Africa and the seventh largest in the world, over 38 billion barrels of oil reserve and a daily production of about 2 million barrels, and the continent’s largest concentration of skilled manpower for the oil and gas industry, built over 30 years or more – naturally, Nigeria’s experiences can be useful to other African countries.”
He expressed hope that the summit would provide a good opportunity for the exchange of experiences “among the large and small, the old and the new, and the potential oil-producing states in Africa.”
He commended Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, for conceiving the idea of the summit after attending the annual Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, United States.