By Esther Yakubu
President Muhammadu Buhari has welcomed the decision of the African Petroleum Producers’ Organisation (APPO) tosite the headquarters of the African Energy Investment Corporation in Abuja, pledging the full support of the country in ensuring the successful take off of the organisation.
At a meeting with Dr. Omar Farouk from Nigeria, who is the Secretary General of the organisation at the State House on Thursday, President Buhari also gave assurance that Nigeria will pay for its share 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.
The President 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.
On the peculiar challenges facing the country amid its large population and immense deficit in infrastructure, President Buhari urged the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to consider the weight of the responsibility of the nation with “200 million people, with severe deficit in infrastructure” when sharing oil production cuts.
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 USD 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 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.