Here is Platforms Africa report on reasons Regional Investments, breakaway from foreign lenders’ yoke topped agenda at the African Local Content Roundtable
The maiden edition of the African Local Content Roundtable has ended at the Nigerian Content Tower in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, Southsouth Nigeria, with a strong push by Nigeria and other members of the African Petroleum Producers Association (APPO) to develop regional oil and gas investments and renegotiate the COP-21 Climate Change Agreement.
Platforms Africa reports that the agreement is what is driving the accelerated move by developed countries to disuse fossil fuels (oil and gas) as the preferred source of energy for transportation and embrace renewable sources.
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, a statement sent to Platforms Africa showed, delivered the keynote address at the two-day retreat attended by representatives of APPO member states physically and via the virtual platforms.
He charged African oil-producing countries and their oil and gas companies to cooperate closely in developing and sharing capacities and capabilities that would optimize hydrocarbon deposits and achieve economic growth and development.
He also advised that it was time to “quickly create innovative funding mechanisms for major projects using local resources and break away from the yoke of depending on foreign lenders who are becoming increasingly reluctant to fund hydrocarbon-related projects.”
Sylva, Platforms Africa gathered, also expressed hope that the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) would make it possible for well-established local manufacturing, operating and service companies to operate across the continent’s hydrocarbons industry without hitches.
In his presentation, the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote hinted that the African Local Content Roundtable is a key initiative of the Board’s Nigerian Content 10-Year Strategic Roadmap and the intent is to extend Local Content across the African continent and ensure access to market for capacities that have been developed locally.
He recommended that one of the strategies for growing Local Content in the continent is by creating an Africa Local Content Fund that could be utilised to set up a bank or finance institution to provide funding for the development of oil and gas projects in Africa.
He said the funding arrangement had become necessary in view of the declaration of some countries and banks to stop funding hydrocarbon related projects in their push for a shift towards renewables.
“These funds can also be utilized to part-:nance infrastructural projects in support of production and evacuation of oil and gas products for use by the African populace,” he added in a statement obtained by Platforms Africa.
Wabote also emphasised the need for African oil producers to invest in research and development, insisting that