By Anthony Isaac
Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari has warned African oil producing countries to consider the need to subscribe to the African Energy Investment Corporation (AEICORP), as investment funds for the oil industry were fast drying up.
He said with little investment coming from outside the continent, most proven oil reserves would remain undeveloped.
President Buhari spoke at the Extraordinary meeting of the Council of Ministers of African Petroleum Producers Organization (APPO) on Thursday in Abuja.
The council at the end of its deliberations appointed Nigeria’s Dr. Omar Farouk Ibrahim as it’s Secretary General for the next three years.
Buhari who address was read by the Minister of State Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva noted that with investment funds dwindling, there was need to exploy available options to tap and access the growing oil reserves in the continent, in order to redeem Africans from energy and economic poverty.
The President noted that out of the 850 million people without access to modern energy globally, Africa accounts for over 600 million.
According to him: “The importance of recapitalizing AEICORP cannot be over-emphasized for us in Africa. As you are aware, due to the global paradigm shift away from oil as energy source, investment funds are fast drying up for the oil industry.
“This is happening at a time Africa is finding more and more oil and gas. Without the required funds, these reserves will remain in the ground, untapped and un-accessed, while our people go without energy.
“I need not remind you that Africa has over 600 million out of the 850 million people in the world who do not have access to modern energy. We need to exploit what we have to take our people out of energy poverty, and by extension economic poverty.
“I want to encourage our members Countries to make equity subscription to AEICORP in order to ensure consequential investment by Sovereign Wealth Funds, National Oil Companies or any other designated organizations of Existing Members and Non-members of APPO, African/International Private Banks, Financial Institutions, and African/International Private Investors.”
Speaking earlier in his capacity as Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Sylva explained that for nearly 30 years, African Petroleum Producers’ Association (APPA) which was renamed African Petroleum Producers’ Organization (APPO) at the Abuja Council of Ministers Session in 2016, could not find its feet, necessitating Nigeria to once again champion the call for its reform.
He however, noted that Nigeria has completed its assignment on the implementation of the reform which seeks to review the Mission, Vision and Strategic Objectives of APPO, and develop a Strategic Implementation Plan with Key Performance Indicators (KPI).
He added that Nigeria was ready to submit its final report to the Council of Ministers for consideration and approval in compliance with the APPO Council of Ministers` Resolution No 268 of 2nd April 2019 of Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.
Briefing journalists at the end of the meeting, Sylva disclosed that Farouk would succeed Mr. Mahman Laoun Gaya as the group’s Secretary General.