African Energy Chamber Congratulates Sylva, Embarks on Working Visit to China

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Timipre Sylva

Idowu Sowunmi

African Energy Chamber yesterday congratulated a former Bayelsa State governor, Timipreye Sylva, on his appointment as the new Minister of State for Petroleum.

The congratulatory message came just as the chamber has concluded plans to organise a working visit to Beijing this week in order to support growing energy cooperation and investment between China and Africa.

 The African Energy Chamber, in a statement, congratulated Sylva, saying as a former governor in the core Niger Delta region, Sylva “understands the core issues affecting Nigeria’s oil and gas sector, the call for better revenue management and distribution, and the need for increased community involvement across Nigeria’s key oil regions.”

Having also previously served as a Special Assistant to a Minister of Petroleum, Sylva has a vast experience and understanding of Nigeria, African and international energy dynamics.

“The appointment of a well-versed former governor with a demonstrated ability to work with different parties and a good understanding of the oil sector is a clear sign that Nigeria is serious about continuing its pace of reforms,” said Executive Chairman at the Chamber and CEO of the Centurion Law Group, Nj Ayuk.

“Africa’s biggest oil producer needs such an experienced figure to lead the industry and our continent into new heights,” he added.

The African Energy Chamber said it would continue to work closely with the Department of Petroleum Resources to pursue local content development, support the regionalisation of Nigerian oil and services companies, and assist any foreign investors seeking to do business in Nigeria.

Meanwhile, to support growing energy cooperation and investment between China and Africa, the African Energy Chamber is organising a working visit to Beijing this week.

Led by its Executive Chairman Nj Ayuk, the delegation from the Chamber would meet with CEOs and Chairmen from China’s state-owned energy companies and the private sector, along with key industry associations in China.

The visit is aimed at further introducing the Chamber to the Chinese market following a series of road shows organised in China by the Chamber over the past two years and increasing demand for investment information on Africa by Chinese investors.

“The investment appetite of Chinese companies for Africa is only getting stronger given current international trade and business dynamics,” said Director of Strategy at the Chamber, Mickael Vogel.

“We are receiving an increasing number of requests from Chinese companies to join the Chamber, especially to gain access to the latest investment opportunities in Africa, and to credible and reliable information on African energy markets. Our visit will be consolidating several relationships we have developed over the past two years and will lead to discussion on major energy deals for Africa.”

Last year, Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged an additional $60 billion for African development over the next three years during the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. Traditionally, a large majority of Chinese investments have been made in energy and transport, especially oil and gas, power, mining, railways and airport infrastructure.

As Chinese investment into Africa increases, the Chamber is assisting several Chinese companies in navigating Africa’s fast growing energy markets. The move is part of the Chamber’s support to a large and expanding base of investors seeking to do business in Africa, mostly from China, Russia, India the Middle East and Turkey.