Africa’s oil producers will be looking up to Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, to help them attract as much as $1 billion they intend to invest in building energy infrastructure across the continent.
A statement from the Ministry of Petroleum Resources disclosed this.
Signed by the Deputy Director of press at the ministry, Olujimi Oyetomi, the statement noted that this was one of the reasons why the continent’s oil producers on the platform of the African Petroleum Producers’ Organisation (APPO), re-elected Kachikwu in Equatorial Guinea as its president until the end of 2019.
The re-election was the first any member country of APPO was allowed to provide its president for two consecutive years.
The statement noted that the decision of the organisation was to allow Kachikwu conclude the ongoing reforms and restructuring he initiated.
Nigeria has held the presidency of APPO for three years out of the four years of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, with the only gap being when Chad led the organisation in 2017.
Kachikwu’s reelection was done at the 36th ordinary session of the Council of Ministers of the APPO in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. The session had in attendance APPO ministers from 13 member countries namely, Algeria, Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Congo, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Libya, Niger, and Nigeria.
The statement said between 2015 and 2016, when Kachikwu first led the organisation, APPO embarked on a major reform aimed at sharpening its focus; enhancing professionalism and strengthening the capacity of its secretariat to conduct studies that will enhance the productivity of the African oil and gas industry, especially investing in trans-national infrastructure like pipelines and refineries and the development of local content.
It explained that in addition to reforming APPO, Kachikwu was also mandated to reform and recapitalise the Cotonou-based APPO Fund for Technical Development, adding that he submitted far-reaching proposals to the ministerial council in this regards and it was approved for implementation.
According to the association, among the major changes approved by the ministerial council was a change in the name of APPO Fund to African Energy Investment Corporation (AEICORP), and that unlike the APPO Fund whose shareholders were limited to sovereign governments, AEICORP shall be open to sovereigns as well as institutional and private investors.
It indicated that AEICORP has targeted to raise $1 billion in investment capital to fund energy infrastructure on the African continent.
“This recent reelection will see Dr. Kachikwu complete the ongoing reforms that will emplace APPO towards leaving a lasting legacy that will ensure that Africans benefit from the continent’s hydrocarbon resources,” said the statement.
Kachikwu, it explained had in his acceptance remarks, said he was delighted with the support he got from members of the council, and affirmed his commitment to making deep and sustained reforms that will guide member countries to make the best returns in their energy businesses.
In another development in Baku, Republic of Azerbaijan, Ministers of the 24 countries that are signed to the Declaration of Cooperation (DoC) initiated by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC members have appointed Nigeria into the Joint Technical Committee (JTC) and Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) of the DoC.
The JMMC now comprises two non-OPEC countries, namely The Russian Federation and Kazakhstan and six OPEC countries, namely Algeria, Iraq, Kuwait, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Venezuela.