Renowned engineer, investor, and Director for Houston-based National Oilwell Varco, Dr. Babajide Agunbiade, has advised Sub-Saharan Africa to focus on exploring the use of oil and gas to support their economies.
Agunbiade said despite the adverse effect of COVID-19 resulting in lower oil production, demand for oil and gas peaked.
He stated, however, that the wind of change is not taking place as much as it should in sub-Saharan Africa.
Agunbiade, who has over 20 years of experience in the oil industry, explained that sub-Saharan Africa, China, and India are places where oil demand is rising, unlike the UK, North America, among a host of advanced countries, where a lot of new technologies are coming into play.
He said, “However, in Africa, it is still the only commodity that can satisfy the demands of an increasing population, an expanding middle class, and in some cases, the main source of governments’ earnings. We still have a lot of oil.
“As stated, a lot of these African countries do depend substantially on oil revenue for survival. Oil still plays a large role in these sub- Saharan countries’ economies, accounting for up to 40 percent of GDP and 80 percent to 90 percent of governments’ earnings.”
The National Oilwell Varco director said 90 per cent of the earnings of the Nigerian government come from oil and the same as Angola, Gabon, and the rest of oil-producing countries in sub- Saharan Africa.
With these figures, he expressed the conviction that the shift to renewable energy at the expense of oil and gas in sub-Saharan Africa has not been the focus for now, and this must change.
“There is no push for anything different. They are still aggressively trying to source foreign exchange, which for the most part, they can only do that through oil,” he added.