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Nigeria’s experiences useful to other African countries, says VP Osinbajo at International Petroleum Summit

*Assures oil and gas operators of FG’s commitment to creating enabling environment for industry’s growth

“It is clear that Africa must increasingly look within for solutions to resolve the challenges that impede the growth of industry, commerce and economy generally.” 

 

“In addition, the increasing number of African countries joining the league of oil and gas producing states calls for greater cooperation amongst the old and new in the industry.”

 

“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.”

 

“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.”

 

Below is the full text of his speech:

SPEECH DELIVERED BY HIS EXCELLENCY, PROF. YEMI OSINBAJO, SAN, THE VICE PRESIDENT, FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA,  AT CLOSING CEREMONY OF FIRST EDITION OF THE NIGERIA INTERNATIONAL PETROLEUM SUMMIT, HELD AT THE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE CENTRE, ABUJA, ON THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2018.

PROTOCOL

I am deeply honoured to have been invited to be here today to formally close the first edition of the Nigeria International Petroleum Summit, the African Petroleum and Technology Conference, which started on Monday, 19th of February, 2018.

It is gratifying that this Summit, which was first conceived less than a year ago by the Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, after attending the annual Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, has materialized with resounding success. I had the privilege of unveiling the logo of this summit, as the Permanent Secretary has mentioned, during the Extraordinary Session of the African Petroleum Producers’ Organization, APPO, here in Abuja, last July.

I am pleased to learn that key stakeholders of the industry in the country, both locals and international partners, have given the Summit the support needed to achieve the success that has been recorded, despite the rather short notice given to them. I commend the various State Governments, the Federal Capital Territory, and the ministers that participated in this Summit. But even more impressive and gladdening is that a number of African oil producing countries hearkened to our call to the first Nigerian International Petroleum Summit, NIPS. And present here with us today are several ministers from African oil-producing countries.

Indeed, given the level of support for the first edition of this summit, the prospects of a future summit are very bright indeed. It may not be out of place for the organizers to consider making it a continent-wide Summit.

I believe this first Summit has set the foundation for the achievement of the objectives of its founding fathers, namely to create the hub of Africa’s oil and gas activities on the African continent.

I’m told that participation has been well over a thousand delegates, exhibitors and visitors from over 32 countries from Africa and outside the continent, and with 92 exhibition stands, this maiden edition of the Summit has certainly set the pace for subsequent Summits, and a very fast pace indeed.

The Summit is unique in the sense that provision was also made for special technical workshops for students of Junior and Senior Secondary schools, as well as universities, at no cost, I’m told, to the participants. And I hope that the organizers will sustain this practice which will kindle the interest of students in the oil and gas industry.

Honourable Ministers, Your Excellencies, it is clear that Africa must increasingly look within for solutions to resolve the challenges that impede the growth of industry, commerce and of economy generally.

In addition, the increasing number of African countries joining the league of oil and gas producing states calls for greater cooperation amongst the old and new in the industry.

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.

I believe that the NIPS,  therefore, provides 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.

Furthermore, the Summit and its side events, like the exhibitions, have laid a solid foundation to encourage the growth of local content in the African Oil and Gas industry, and to provide a forum for the display of the progress that Africa is making in the field of oil and gas technology.

It also provides African engineers and fabricators a platform to showcase what they are able to produce locally, while providing for our academics and scientists a forum to exchange thoughts & ideas on the way forward for the industry on the continent.

I am pleased to hear that this first edition of the Summit actually provided a forum for bringing together the continent’s key stakeholders in the oil and gas industry, namely ministers and other policy makers, investors and operators to review developments and chart a new course forward for the oil industry on the continent.

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, the challenge for Africa is certainly enormous. Many of the traditional markets for oil in Europe and Asia are, of course, developing alternatives. This is at the same time that this coincides with some African countries just making finds.

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.

I should like to assure our oil and gas operators of the Federal Government of Nigeria’s commitment to creating the enabling environment for the industry to achieve its destiny in Africa.

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. We believe that this will be done speedily, and already we are seeing signs that a lot of work has been done by the National Assembly.

I should like to end with a word of appreciation to the Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, the dynamic and able Emmanuel Ibe Kachiwku and his team, the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Yemi Esan, and the team at the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, as well as all of those who have participated in making this a worthwhile event.

I wish you all, particularly our brothers from outside Nigeria, a safe journey back home, and we hope to see you again with a larger delegation next year.

Excellencies, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to formally declare the first Nigeria International Petroleum Summit closed.

Thank you.

Released by:

Laolu Akande

Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity)

Office of the Vice President

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