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Oil, Gas Infrastructure: Osinbajo Urges African Countries To Collaborate

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Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has urged African countries to collaborate in efforts to develop infrastructure in the oil and gas sector for the growth of the region.

Osinbajo made the call at the opening ceremony of the Extraordinary Session of the Council of Ministers of  African Petroleum Producers’ Organisation(APPO) Abuja, on Monday.

He bemoaned the paucity of funds required to undertake significant investments in the oil and gas industry in Nigeria and the rest of the African continent.

He noted that due to the fact that the oil and gas industry was very capital intensive, individual African countries  would not have the resources required to make the necessary investments in the industry.

“This is especially true, because these investments are competing with infrastructure and social services for the limited resources available to us as government,” he said.

Osinbajo, however, called for increased synergy and cooperation among oil-producing countries in Africa.

This, he said was critical to tackling the funding challenges that had hindered the growth and development of the continent’s petroleum industry.

He argued that in the increasingly inter-dependent world that we live in, greater levels of regional integration would be required, allowing the free-flow of the dividends of research and technology.

He said, “By serving as a platform for increased collaboration and cooperation among member countries, APPO would go a long way towards helping overcome these financial challenges.

“Increased synergy would no doubt help mobilise the investment needed to facilitate and to deliver the major infrastructure required by the continent, such as trans-border gas and oil pipeline, joint refineries, gas plants and so on.

“Nigeria is already leading with our West African Gas Pipeline Project and the Nigeria-Niger collaboration on refining.”

He also called for a review of the model of the APPO Fund for Technical Cooperation, to enable it provide the much-needed funding for the continent’s oil producers and also achieve its other objectives.

Also speaking, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu, Minister of State for Petroleum resources  noted that driven by the quest for development, across the African continent, there were new finds of oil and gas, while massive exploration was currently ongoing.

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