‘Zero Oil Days Are Clearly Around The Corner,’ Osinbajo Tells African Leaders

Nigeria’s Acting President,Yemi Osinbajo has advised African leaders to  watch out as oil importing countries are already looking forward  to and working towards “an aggressive non-fossil fuel alternative programme.”

Speaking at an Extra-Ordinary Session of the Council Of Ministers of African Petroleum Producers Organisation (Appo) at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja on Monday 24th of July, 2017 Osinbajo said, “zero oil days are clearly around the corner.”

He said “Besides, the reality of a future where demand for and revenues from oil drop sharply, is already upon us. Almost every major oil importing country today has embarked on an aggressive non-fossil fuel alternative programme; China, Japan, and some Scandinavian states have already set dates within the next 10 to 15 years to produce and use only electric vehicles. The zero oil days are clearly around the corner.

“It is therefore heartwarming that, after thirty years of service to Member-Countries and its existence, this Organisation has recognised the need to fashion out and implement a bold programme of reforms.”

Osinbajo said “Nigeria shares this objective and fully supports the reform process that will enable APPO rise up fully and adapt to the changing realities of the global oil industry, and the global economic order.

Indeed there can be no better time than now, for the reform that APPO has embarked upon, a reform to restructure its operations, and its interaction with the world, while continuing to deliver service to its members. Let me state that the reform is in the right direction and it certainly follows global trends.

“Our government revenues and export bases are in dire need of diversification, away from the dangerous dependence on natural resources that we have seen in the past.

He however noted: “But also the paradox is inescapable that we need oil to get out of our dependency on oil. So the capacity to add value to the crude oil that we extract is crucial.

“The whole range of petro-chemical enterprise remains a largely untapped option for growing industrial opportunities, creating jobs and increasing our chances of delivering on our national and continental commitments to inclusive growth.

“We must leverage our oil resources to fund and to support our ambition to create economies fit and ready for the 21st century.

“In Nigeria we’re pursuing a series of reforms along these lines, combining executive and legislative actions to create a sector that is more efficient, more transparent, and more attractive to domestic and foreign investments.

“We are also making progress in fine-tuning and implementing our local content policy – and that, I must say, is one area that is critical to the future of APPO.

“Indeed that was one of the reasons why APPO was created; to provide a platform that will support and empower African countries to build and exploit local capacity and technology to the fullest.

“We know, of course, that the prosperity of Africa ultimately lies in its human resources and talent, and not in anything we extract from the earth.

“But as the world begins to move in the direction of alternative and clean energy, the reform of APPO should factor in these new realities, and aim to reposition the Organisation as a clear leader in this regard.

“Technology and innovation still remain a challenge to developing countries and in particular APPO Member-Countries, and this of course negatively impacts efficiency and competitiveness.

“I believe that your reforms must address these challenges and proffer solutions in the form of knowledge sharing, technology sharing and technology development.

“But peculiar to our member-countries is the challenge of ensuring that our technology-efficient ideas take into account our growing population of young people who need jobs.

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