The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva has described the recent passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) and the eventual signing of the bill into law as a watershed moment for Nigeria.
The minister made the remark at an event tagged; “Nigerian-Equatorial Guinea bi-lateral meeting” held Monday in Abuja.
Sylva said, “Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria share some historical similarities, they have been growing on the back of oil and gas” adding that, with the PIA in effect, we now feel that it is now time for us to go out of Nigeria to actively market this investment environment.
He enjoined African oil producing countries to explore areas of possible collaboration of investing within the African territories.”
Early in the year, the Minister said he was in Equatorial Guinea where he signed an MoU which embodies the security of the Gulf of Guinea and the supply or access to gas. He restated the declaration of this decade as the decade of gas with underlying focus on gas development. He sued for partnership between and among Africans as a way of ensuring progress.
The Minister talked about exploring the possibility of setting up financial institutions to focus on investments in the oil and gas sector. He posited that if Africa is insisting on developing its oil and gas resources, it must also set up structures to fund its insistence. He advocated for Africans to come together under the aegis of African Petroleum Producers’ Organization (APPO) to set up an energy bank with a view to financing our oil and gas sector.
In his remarks, The Minister of Natural Resources and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea, Gabriel Mbega Obiang Lima congratulated Nigeria on the historic passage of the PIB. Lima expressed optimism that the PIA will bring a lot of investments to Nigeria while stressing that the PIA is a sign that Nigeria is open for business.
In his welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Dr. Nasir Sani Gwarzo, mni, welcomed the delegation from Equatorial Guinea and wished them a fruitful deliberation.