By Edith ike –Eboh
The Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has advised Ministers of the African Petroleum Producers organisation (APPO) to ensure reforms that will bring about growth and development of the region.
Osinbajo who gave the advice at the opening ceremony of the Extraordinary Session of the Council of Ministers of the African Petroleum Producers Organisation, in Abuja on Monday said the region need to reduce its dependency on oil.
He said that the volatility in the global oil market had affected economies of various oil producing countries and made some devalued their currencies over the last couple of years.
“Over the last three years oil producing countries have witnessed drop in oil price and in turn affected their economies and currencies.
“We need to ask questions; the reality is already with us, we need to rethink. Japan and China are already working on how to make use of electric cars.
“This is an indication that zero oil days are by the corner,” he said.
He said that the idea of reform by members of APPO was apt adding that Nigeria would support every move to help the region adapt to the changing realities.
“We need diversification; this reform we want to embark is a step in the right direction; we need to reduce over dependency on oil.
The Acting president said the petrochemical sector was yet untapped and should leveraged on to develop the region.
He noted that Nigeria would continue to use Executive and legislative orders to support every good move of the organisation.
“Your reforms must have new realities, technology and new innovation will be a challenge but it must be tackled to ensure that the region is able to create jobs for the unemployed through the reforms.
“Technology, the growing population and Job creation must be properly tackled; you must build capacity and develop skills,’’ he said
Osinbajo urged the organisation to ensure that it developed technology to monitor crude drilled in the territory and work in a transparent manner.
He urged them to use the Nigeria International Petroleum Summit to be hosted in Abuja on Feb 21, 2018 to improve the fortunes of the continent.
Earlier, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu said the organisation after its meeting in Cote d’Ivoire, accepted the need to restructure to enable it tackle the present challenges.
Kachikwu said that oil would become a scarce commodity in the next 20 to 40 years as oil producing countries have about 30 year life span.
He said that efforts were being made to achieve cleaner source of energy, assuring that Nigeria would support the organisation with strong leadership role.
“If we don’t make a move to transform in Africa, it will affect us,’’ he said.