President Muhammmadu Buhari has urged the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), to consider the weight of the responsibility of Nigeria’s 200 million population with severe infrastructure deficit while sharing oil production cuts. The President made this call yesterday in his comments on the peculiar challenges facing the country amidst its large population and immense deficit in infrastructure, while welcoming the decision of the African Petroleum Producers’ Organisation (APPO) to site the headquarters of the African Energy Investment Corporation in Abuja.
In a statement made available to newsmen yesterday by his spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, Buhari pledged the full support of the country in ensuring the successful take off of the organisation. At the meeting with the Secretary General of the organisation, Dr. Omar Farouk (Nigerian), Buhari gave assurances that Nigeria will pay her subscription.
The President, who received praises for the vision of setting up the APPO and the ratification of its charter by Nigeria back in 1985 as Military Head of State, said the peculiarities of the challenges facing African oil producers required them to come together under the association to share experiences and solve their problems collectively.
He said the growing clamour for a reduction in the use of fossil fuels notwithstanding, countries like Nigeria needed to produce more oil to feed the petro-chemical industry and create jobs. In his remarks, the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, informed the President that the proposed APPO Energy Investment Corporation to be sited in Abuja will start with $1 billion from the AFRO-EXIM Bank and is expected to bring employment and other benefits to Nigeria.
The Secretary General of APPO, who was accompanied by Dr Adedapo Odulaji, the OPEC Governor in Nigeria, conveyed the appreciation of both the Congolese President and the Prime Minister for the President’s support in the relocation of the headquarters of the association to its chosen location, Brazzaville, the Congolese capital. He expressed the hope that members of the 16-member organisation will surmount the challenges posed by COVID-19 as well as that from receding fossil fuel use as a result of the climate change treaties signed by member states and other nations.