Mr Sarki Auwalu, director, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has urged Africa to rise to the challenge of harnessing its oil and gas reserves for the development of the continent.
Auwalu spoke on Wednesday at the opening ceremony of the 5th Edition of the Sub-Saharan African International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference organised by the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN).
The three-day virtual conference has as its theme: “Post COVID-19: From Global Crises to Global Opportunities.”
He said: “Indeed, for a better and secured future, Africa must rise to the challenge of harnessing its over 125 billion barrels of proven oil reserves and 625 trillion cubic feet of natural gas for the development of the continent.
“Africa must not be cowed to abandon its quest to grow its economies by the ‘doomsday’ narrative of ‘end of oil’ era and jettison the development of its resources.
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“Africa’s resources must be used to fuel Africa’s development; the same
way other continents utilised dirtier fossil fuels to fuel their economic transformation.
“To achieve this, we must take our destinies in our hands and join hands across all spectrum – technical, economic, legal, commercial, operational, financial, and political – drive regional energy security and economic sustainability.”
According to him, Nigeria recognises the reality of energy transition and is committed to accelerated development of its petroleum resources through the emplacement of appropriate legal framework to support upstream asset acquisition, development, production and exports.
“However, we are putting increased emphasis on midstream investments and gas-focused infrastructural development for domestic value addition via the Refinery revolution and Decade-of-Gas Initiatives.
“The Decade-of-Gas Initiative will leverage Nigeria’s 203 TCF of natural gas reserves for domestic gas supply (Gas-To-Power), Alternative fuels (Gas-To-People) and Gas Based Industrialisation (Gas-
To-Derivatives) elements of the Gas-fired Industrial economy agenda within this decade.
“All these efforts will significantly increase the quantum of in-country value addition to drive the contribution of oil and gas to Gross Domestic Production, employment generation and poverty eradication,” he said.
Also, Mr Simbi Wabote, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), said the coronavirus pandemic provided a sad realisation of the importance of local content in the oil and gas industry.
Wabote said the NCDMB would continue to deploy strategies to promote local content in Nigeria and within the African continent to provide jobs, support businesses and protect investments.
Earlier, Mr Nicolas Odinuwe, Chairman, PETAN, said the aim of the conference was to offer direct access to the primary stakeholders and key players across the entire Sub-Saharan African supply and value chain.
Odinuwe stressed the need for continued collaboration by African countries to foster development of the continent through the utilisation of its oil and gas resources.