The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, says the Senegalese government is seeking Nigeria’s support for the development of its oil and gas sector.
Sylva, who received the Senegalese Energy Minister, Aissitou Sophie Gladima, and her delegation in Abuja on Monday, said that African countries needed to work together to support development on the continent and reduce over-dependence on foreigners for growth.
“I want to use this opportunity to welcome you. We as Africans must come together to work together in order to chat way forward. We cannot continue to depend on Europe and the outside world.
“In fact, it has been proven that they cannot be responsible for our development. We have to take full responsibility for our development and that is why we are very happy that you are here today,’’ he said
Sylva said Nigeria had some advantages as a country that had been in the oil and gas sector for a long time and had learned many lessons as well as made mistakes.
Oil production activities started in Nigeria in 1937 but commercial discoveries were made in the 1950s. The first commercial discovery was made in 1956 and the first cargo of crude left Nigeria in 1958.
“That means that we have been effectively in oil production for over 60 years. That is some kind of advantage and, of course, a lot of lessons have been learnt,” the minister said.
“When we started production activities in Nigeria. We were completely spectators, every position was occupied by expatriates, our communities were just onlookers to the activities but since then a lot has happened.
“There has been a lot of capacity development in Nigeria. Today a significant percentage of Nigeria’s crude is being produced by Nigerian companies.
“Also, Nigeria’s involvement in the IOCs has increased very significantly to the extent that some of them have Nigerians as their Managing Directors in their Nigeria subsidiaries. The chairman of Shell is a Nigerian.”
He said that Nigeria had grown a global NLNG company that is wholly Nigerian, where the MD and other staff are Nigerians, making it possible for Nigeria to impact some of its experience to other African countries.
On local content, he said that Nigeria had grown its local content from three per cent in the past 10 years to about 43 per cent and target to grow it to 70 per cent by 2027.
He further said that as activities had just started in the Senegal oil and gas sector, it was the best time to incorporate some of the Nigerian experience to help them develop efficiently and contribute to the economic growth of their country.
He assured that Nigeria would support the Senegal energy sector to grow and urged the country to join the African Petroleum Producers Organisation (APPO).
In her remarks, Gladima thanked the minister for the hospitality and said that the country had longed to partner with Nigeria to gain from its wealth of experience in the oil and gas sector.
She said that Nigeria’s over 50 years of oil production was an excellent example for Senegal as it is beginning to grow its own industry.
She said that the country would like Nigeria to support her in four areas of security management in the oil and gas, National Oil Company (NOC) Organisation, local content regulation and NOC strategies.
She expressed interest in joining APPO to help the development of the sector in Senegal.
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