THE Federal Government is seeking more crude oil production quota from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
Nigeria’s huge population and physical development deficits should be considered by the oil cartel when sharing production cuts, President Muhammadu Buhari, said on Thursday.
Buhari made the appeal on Thursday at the State House, Abuja, while hosting the Secretary-General of the African Petroleum Producers’ Organisation (APPO), Dr. Omar Farouk.
In a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, Buhari observed that Nigeria needs all the resources she can gather from all sources, considering the weight of the responsibility of the nation with “200 million people, with severe deficit in infrastructure.”
He welcomed APPO’s to site the headquarters of the African Energy Investment Corporation in Abuja, pledging Nigeria’s full support in ensuring the successful take-off of the organisation.
Buhari also assured that Nigeria will pay her share of the subscription accordingly.
The President, who was hailed 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, adding that 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.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva told the President that the proposed APPO Energy Investment Corporation to be sited in Abuja will start with $1 billion from the AFRO-EXIM Bank, adding that it is expected to bring employment and other benefits to Nigeria.
The APPO Secretary-General, 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 hope that members of the 16-member organisation will surmount the challenges posed by COVID-19 and the receding fossil fuel use as a result of the climate change treaties signed by member states and other nations.
By Bolaji Ogundele