Although more oil is being discovered in Africa, international investors are reluctant to fund the development and exploitation of new oil fields. And oil producing countries in Africa are increasingly concerned about the development as they continued their meeting in Africa.
But to Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, Nigetia’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, mobilising international investments and cooperation among the continents oil producers hold the key to overcoming the challenge.
Kachikwu told the African Petroleum Producers Organisation (APPO) which is having an extraordinary session of the Council of Ministers Abuja that African countries have no option but to unite and grow the continent’s oil sector in order to effectively mitigate the adverse effect of the recent development in Africa.
On the difficulty associated with investing in oil exploration on the continent, Kachikwu who emerged the new president of APPO stated that the realities all over Africa showed that there had been a lot of new finds of oil but less number of investors.
He observed that everyone in Africa was enthused by the possibility of further harnessing new natural resources that would be used to develop the continent, but getting funding for this had been difficult.
Kachikwu stated, “The reality also is that finding the necessary finance for this is very difficult. Increasingly, with what had happened, especially with the tumbling of oil prices over the last few years – nice that is has begun to come up – a lot of investors found it difficult to invest, not just in oil exploration activities, but in fact, even worse still, oil exploration activities in Africa.
“The only way growth will happen in this sector in the whole of Africa is through an inter-dependence approach. All of us must be able to hold hands and find a way of supporting one another in terms of the research, internal investments potential and capabilities, and also help to drive the process.
“But more fundamentally, it must be in a position to have a lot of best learning from some of the three or four major producer countries that have been in this for quite a long time, as the new ones are coming on board.”
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who declared the ceremony open, thanked the organisation for unanimously agreeing to place the responsibility for leading APPO’s reform process on Kachikwu, noting that the minister had since March 2016 remained at the centre of the reform efforts in the Nigerian oil and gas industry.
Osinbajo noted that the oil and gas industry was capital intensive, stressing that “as individual countries, we often do not have the resources required to make the necessary investments in the industry.”