Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources
Oil remains a major magnate for both local and foreign investment in Nigeria and official role of oil in the country’s economy cannot be overemphasized. It is a major foreign exchange earner that provide energy needs of the country and a contributor to meet energy demand of global community.
The maiden edition of the Nigeria International Petroleum Summit (NIPS) created an unprecedented and perfect platform for the world to meet Nigeria’s oil and gas industry players. The theme of the second edition is ‘Shaping the Future Through Efficiency and Innovation.’
Speaking and delivering his goodwill message at the second edition of NIPS, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, made it known that the message of collaboration ongoing in Africa gives a momentum to leaders of the continent.
He recalled that delegation from various African countries representing some ministers in the continent attended the Africa Petroleum Producers Organisation (APPO) extraordinary meeting. The meeting was dedicated to finalize prototype of reforms in APPO. It is to meet up with international standard and similar organisations across the globe. He said the secretariat was brought to Nigeria in order to progress and create a new platform that will make APPO relevant to the needs of African oil producers.
Kachikwu revealed that the purpose of APPO is to mobilize about $2 billion of resources to fund the oil industry in Africa through collaboration adding that countries across the continent engage in various aspects of the industry including refining, plants and gas turbine among others. According to the minister, “If we could just cross the Rubicon and be able to extend hands of infrastructural relationship across Africa, built joint pipelines, joint refineries and begin to protect the African market, we would have taken a huge step not only on the development of Africa, but stabilization of African independent countries which is the idea of APPO.” The idea is the stabilization of Africa in order to work together. Resolutions have been agreed by various countries while moving on to the implementation stage.
The minister reiterated that collaboration and futuristic model are in the front burner. However, there are challenges confronting the industry, in terms of shale oil, price, investment limitation and intervention from non-OPEC members.
Notwithstanding, Kachikwu submitted that in spite of challenges that impede the industry, there are opportunities. For instance in Nigeria, such opportunities are: Egina, Train 7, Bonga phase 2, Zabazaba including other upcoming projects. In Africa, new discoveries abound and with the opportunities there are also huge challenges relating to oil production. Producing oil at present is not like how it was in the past, companies take responsibility due to environmental impact while host community challenges are becoming vociferous and militant in nature.
The APPO Chairman said that ease of finding resources and getting finance is tighter than it was in the past since oil majors and investors are watching opportunities globally. In Africa, “The emerging economies that are finding oil by the day is creating major challenges for countries like Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea and Angola that has historically being dominant in some of these areas. Unless you get your policies right, unless you get your market place right, unless you get your collaborative mechanism right, unless you get your infrastructure right, you are going to face a huge amount of challenge in the competition with very scarce capital.”
Kachikwu commended indigenous operators that even the International Oil Companies (IOCs) have acknowledged that bulk of their projects, and investments are in Nigeria giving room for training and development. He revealed that as of “Today, independent producers are doing over 12% of our contribution to our national production and I like to see that figure grow over 30% which means we have to create models that will encourage them to invest their money, seek resources and financing.”
The Minister of State disclosed that skill set in Nigeria is unbelievable and over 90% of IOCs employees are Nigerians. As Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), he was amazed that every detail of capability to run a global company resides in the corporation with well trained and exposed personnel. Challenges are only in the aspect of policies but in term of skill set, it has sound background of local employees. Chunk of Nigerians who have worked in the oil industry in the last twenty years and are in retirement have virile capability in terms of man power resource.
The collaborative spirit being built in the industry will develop Africa through synergy with every stakeholder including new entrants. Kachikwu said, “In Africa, the time has come, the time can never be better, the realities are done on us because very soon unless we protect our border posts like many countries are doing, unless we begin to look more to the continent, unless we begin to look more into financing that we can find locally, unless we begin to look for African financing entities to help to develop key infrastructure that we need in this sector, we would have lost a huge opportunity.”
The minister pointed out that technology has caught up with Africa in a vast speed. At the rate electric cars are moving including solar power, if Africa does not take a drastic positive step, it will be bundled with a huge amount of growing resource which even when exploited will become worthless. The price of oil in the last five years attest to the fact that technology has gone far. “Something urgent needs to be done for Africa and this cannot be done independently alone, we need to collaborate with ourselves.” He stated further “Let us think outside the box, think Africa, think collaboration, and think the future.”
The 2019 NIPS was a success owing to the fact that preparations towards it began in earnest. Consequently, additional venues were set up to accommodate delegates and exhibitors. This indicated a whopping 300% increase from last year’s figures.
Delegates participated in various panel sessions including paper presentations with innovative technology displaced at the exhibition venue. IOCs had field day as Total and Shell showcased Egina and Bonga projects including other innovative ongoing ideas across the country.