Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has advised oil-producing countries in Africa to plan for a world beyond oil, saying they cannot afford to act differently from the rest of the world. Professor Osinbajo stated this Monday while declaring open the Extra-Ordinary Session of the Council of Ministers of the African Petroleum Producers’ Organization, APPO, in Abuja.
“We cannot bet on the fact that even a few decades from now these natural resources will be as central to the global economy as they are today,” he stated, adding that “all serious economies around the world have realized this, and are making determined plans for a world beyond oil.”
The vice president said African oil producers “must keep in mind that oil and gas are only guaranteed as today’s resources, and not necessarily tomorrow’s.”
He assured the African oil ministers of Nigeria’s support in their effort to revitalize and reform the APPO in its quest to become “a major institution of reference on Africa’s hydro-carbon matters, and indeed, the pride of Africa.”
“I am confident that a revitalized APPO will contribute tremendously to the development of the African oil and gas industry, particularly now that Africa is becoming a major global player in the sector.”
Osinbajo listed the achievements in the Nigerian oil and gas industry in the past three years to include the implementation of “a comprehensive blueprint for reform, known as the Seven Big Wins, focusing on seven key reform areas,” which “have all been central to the Change Agenda of the Muhammadu Buhari Administration.”
In his remarks, the Secretary-General of the APPO, Mahamman Laouan Gaya, said the development of shale oil in the United States of America has tended to undermine the exploitation of conventional reserves and the major producers of oil in the Middle East.
He said “if Africa were be considered as single producer, it is certain that our continent could challenge Saudi Arabia, Australia and the United States of America.”
Mr. Gaya said the reforms being worked out in the APPO would ensure a more united and stronger African oil cartel to stand the challenges of the world oil industry.