President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed to the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to consider Nigeria’s huge population size and physical development deficits when sharing oil production cuts.
The President made the appeal on Thursday while hosting the Secretary-General of the African Petroleum Producers’ Organisation (APPO), Dr. Omar Farouk, from Nigeria in the State House in Abuja.
According to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, Buhari observed Nigeria needs all the resources she can gather from all sources, considering the weight of the responsibility of the nation with “200 million poor people, with a severe deficit in infrastructure”.
He also welcomed the decision of the APPO to cite 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, he also gave the assurance that Nigeria will pay for her 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 petrochemical industry and create jobs.
Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, informed the President 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 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.