The Federal Government on Tuesday, tasked Equatorial Guinea’s Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons, HE Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima on the need to attract investments into the oil and gas sector.
It said this became imperative considering the dwindling investments in the sector.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva made the call when he received HE Lima who is also the 2023 President of the OPEC/GECF at his office in Abuja.
He reminded that investments required in the medium term to sustain oil and gas production in the continent was recently estimated at an average of about $40 billion annually.
According to him, with the fastest-growing population in the world, and an unimaginable prevalent energy poverty level across the continent, Africa’s energy needs will continue to grow in leaps and bounds over the foreseeable future.
“It is estimated that about 640 million Africans have no access to electricity, while about 900 million Africans have no access to clean cooking fuels. While taking cognizance of the current global drive towards renewable energy, Africa will undoubtedly need to continue to utilize its abundant oil and gas resources for the continent to be delivered from the shackles of perpetual energy poverty and stunted economic growth.
“Africa has an enormous proven crude oil reserve of over 125 billion barrels, and over 630 trillion cu foot (TCF) of natural gas reserves,” he said.
To this end, he urged the OPEC’s President to use the opportunity of his tenure to promote the cause of Africa and attract more investments into the oil and gas industry in the continent.
“I am of the opinion that local content should be at the driver’s seat for investments in Africa’s oil and gas industry, for the continent to witness sustainable development.
“In this context, the on-going move to establish an African Energy Bank is a right move in the right direction,” he said.
He further assured that Nigeria will continue to lend full support to the efforts of both OPEC and GECF in their quest to balance and stabilize the energy market for the benefit of all.