The Senegalese Petroleum and Energy Minister, Mr Mansour Kane, has sought for the assistance of Nigeria in developing his country’s energy sector, specifically petroleum.
Kane made this appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Dakar, after a closed door meeting with the Foreign Affairs Minister, Chief Geoffrey Onyeama, who was on a working visit to Senegal.
“I am glad to have my brother the Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, to pay a visit to the Ministry of Petroleum, Senegal.
“As you know, we just discovered a lot of oil and gas and we would want to take advantage of experience of Nigeria.
“I think we have to work with our counterparts in Nigeria so also with the Ministry of foreign Affairs to learn how to avoid some mistake,” he said.
For decades, Senegal was an afterthought for oil and gas explorers, caught in a no-man’s land between prolific hydrocarbon provinces in north and west Africa.
That changed in 2014, when Cairn Energy of the UK took a gamble on the country and came up with the biggest offshore oil discovery anywhere in the world that year.
Further successes followed from Cairn and Kosmos Energy, the Texas-based company which has found the largest offshore gas deposits in west Africa in waters straddling Senegal and neighbouring Mauritania.
These companies and their partners are now gearing up to develop the resources, promising to place Senegal firmly on the map of large African oil and gas producers.
Kane said Senegal would want to follow Equatorial Guinea’s step that came to learn from Nigeria when they discovered their oil and gas and now a big time player in the sector in Africa.
“What we want to do is to learn from our brother Nigeria, at the state level and also at the private sector level, local content is very important.
“We know that there are some Nigerian companies already that have experience and will want to have joint venture with us, to work with Senegalese companies to help us to develop the sector,” he said.
He said that the country would send a delegation to visit Nigeria immediately after the election.
Onyeama in his remarks expressed the readiness of Nigeria to assist Senegal to develop her petroleum sector.
“Nigeria has a lot of experience in the sector to share with Senegal.
“And first thing I will do when I get back to Nigeria is to get in touch with the petroleum minister of state for the two of them to work together.
“And of course at the larger framework of Senegal-Nigeria cooperation, we have joint commission which we hope to revitalise.
“So petroleum will be part of that commission, there will be this constant bilateral cooperation of different sectors,” he said.
He however cautioned that petroleum could be a blessing and at the same time a curse to nations.
Onyeama stressed that it was necessary for Senegal to put in place from the very beginning the strategies that would make it a blessing and not a curse. (NAN)