President Muhammadu Buhari has said that his administration has plans to extend oil and gas exploration into new fields in the Lake Chad Basin in the North East and in the coastal states, like Lagos, where oil has been discovered in commercial quantity.
“Current volatility in the oil sector allows lessons to be learnt, synergies to be built and new approaches to be adopted to enable Africa expand its economy, infrastructure, manpower base, maintain domestic and regional peace and protect the environment.”
The president said this on Monday while declaring open the 6th African Petroleum Congress and Exhibition (CAPE VI) being hosted in Abuja.
President Buhari, who was represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, said as part of strategies to reposition the Nigerian oil and gas industry, his government had commenced the process of implementing carefully conceived initiatives which would see the country hitting a production target of 2.8 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil.
On his part, Minister of state for petroleum, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, called on African governments to develop policies that will enable backward integration.
“It is a new dawn and we are excited about the development. We will continue to work collaboratively because there is a lot happening in the space but also a lot of challenges that we have to overcome.
“The major challenge is funding. Obviously skillsets are there already and technology is not an issue but funding remains key. Policies are also key because African governments have to develop policies that will enable backward integration into their own systems.”