Abuja — President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday in Abuja said the country would focus on developing the downstream sector of the nation's petroleum industry with the aim of pushing refined petroleum products to markets across countries in Africa.
Speaking at the opening of the Nigeria International Petroleum Summit (NIPS), Buhari who canvassed support for collaboration across the continent, said the country would leverage development in the oil and gas sector, particularly downstream and boost economic growth to seven per cent.
The President, who was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, insisted that the administration would address the recurring cases of corruption, accountability and transparency in the sector.The President said: "Nigeria is open to private sector investment in the downstream sector and pursuing vigorously a programme for the rehabilitation of existing refineries so as to enhance capacity to supply locally refined petroleum products in Nigeria and West Africa.He said the plan is a fragment of the national petroleum industry roadmap and the 2017 to 2020 Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP)."
Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, stressed on the need for the country to leverage the sector to provide resources to address power challenges and reduce unemployment.
According to him, the oil and gas sector must provide the technical and advanced skills sets that are essential for Nigeria to export people out in to other African countries, and to become investors in other African countries. He said over the next 10 years, Nigeria should be able to produce an FPSO, become self-sufficient in its own power provision and gravitate from crude oil, as it where, to very refined, clean provision of fossils.
"My target is that over that same period, investment in the sector, in the sense that Nigerian companies, Nigerian entities and Nigerian shareholders, would begin to move from the minuscule 10 per cent today, to between 40 and 50 per cent of local investments."
The Secretary General of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo, said an estimated investment worth $10.5 trillion would be required in Nigeria and other crude oil producing nations to meet the projected over 100 million barrels a day global consumption till 2040.He urged world leaders to strike a delicate balance at effort aimed at poverty alleviation and attempts to reduce carbon emission.
The OPEC secretary general explained that the declaration of cooperation reached by oil producing countries have stabilised the oil market following the unprecedented market turbulence which had a devastating effect not only in the industry, but sometimes in the economies of OPEC member countries.He pointed out that the recent oil price drop was sharper than the decline in prices of other commodities, contrary to oil price collapse of 1985-86, when oil commodity price declined in a steep manner.
According to him, from 2014 to 2016, world oil supply grew by 5.5 million barrel per day, while world oil demand increased by only 4.1 million per day, sending the supply demand equation into severe disequilibrium.
Barkindo said nearly One trillion dollars worth of investment were discontinued and many thousands of high quality jobs lost globally. To stem this ugly trend, he said 24 oil producing nations agreed to stabilise the world oil market through voluntary adjustments in quota adjustment of 1.8 million barrels per day. This transformative initiative, he pointed out, has helped to stabilise the global oil market.