African Oil Producers Meet, Brainstorm on Take-off of $5 Billion Energy Bank

Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja

The African Petroleum Producers’ Organisation (APPO) has urged member countries to fulfil their financial obligations towards establishing the Africa Energy Bank (AEB), the first of such financial institutions on the continent.

Last week, Nigeria secured the hosting rights for the bank, which will be located in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

To ensure the bank’s operationalisation, APPO Secretary General, Dr Farouk Ibrahim, called on African oil-producing member countries to contribute their subscription fees of $83 million, to aid the bank’s expected launch in September 2024.

Ibrahim made the appeal during the 18th ordinary meeting of the APPO executive board in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, where APPO headquarters is situated, a statement signed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum, Nicholas Ella, said yesterday.

Ella, who is leading Nigeria’s delegation to the event, quoted Ibrahim as reaffirming the APPO council of ministers’ resolution to confer the hosting rights of the bank on Nigeria.

“We are aligned with the resolutions of the APPO council of ministers from last week. We will double our efforts to ensure we gather the necessary funds to initiate the Africa Energy Bank,” Ibrahim said.

He further disclosed that the oil-producing member countries had formally written to the Nigerian government to discuss expedited steps to establish the bank.

“On Friday, July 5, we formally wrote to the Federal Republic of Nigeria. We will discuss how quickly the bank building will be ready and the host country agreement prepared for signature. We already have one member country that has signed the establishment agreement. We need one more signature to proceed,” Ibrahim added.

Expressing President Bola Tinubu’s gratitude to member states for their unwavering support and confidence in Nigeria’s bid to host the bank, Ella reiterated Nigeria’s commitment to the continental bloc’s ideals to enhance energy security in Africa.

“The gathering of the 18-member countries of APPO in Brazzaville demonstrates our collective dedication to fostering unity, cooperation, and sustainable development within the African energy sector,” noted Ella.

He pledged Nigeria’s determination to collaborate with other members to address the financial needs of Africa’s energy sector through funding oil and gas projects.

Ella urged member countries to harness the collective strength of the continent’s nations to build a brighter, more prosperous future for Africa.

“Together, we will create an institution that addresses the financial needs of our energy projects and champions sustainable development, environmental stewardship, and economic inclusivity across Africa,” he added.

During a brainstorming session on the continent’s energy future, Algerian executive board member,  Remini Amine, emphasised that local content, manpower, and infrastructure development remain key to unlocking Africa’s energy opportunities.

APPO member state representatives agreed that the energy bank would bridge funding gaps in the sector, with Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, a former Nigerian Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, suggesting a 10-year plan for the energy industry to encourage an “open era” for investment. Kachikwu advised APPO to grow the energy bank’s capital base before investing.

Speakers at the week-long event emphasised the need for National Oil Companies (NOCs) to lead in crude oil production and refine oil to meet local consumption needs. The energy bank is an initiative of the APPO and Afreximbank.

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