The federal government had been shining in supplying crude oil to international demands surging from Europe and America.
But emerging change in demand equation which shows serious drop in global demand of Nigeria’s oil is now compelling Nigeria to begin to think Africa in crude oil supply in other to dominate the new market before rivals like Ghana, Angola and Congo cash in.
Earlier this week, the Minister of State for petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachukwu came up with a fresh oil marketing idea that will drive the selling of Nigeria crude to African countries.
Speaking in Abuja at the 2017 edition of the Sustainability in the Extractive Industries (SITEI) conference, he averred that time has come for local oil firms to develop the capacity to compete in the continent, while government provides the necessary incentives.
According to him, “Nigeria has to begin by looking at the country first. What do we do to encourage local companies to be able to compete in Africa? It is along these lines for example, that we have started product or sector specialisations which are the areas where we have the most competitive advantages.”
The new idea will form the pivot for the planned 19th conference of the African oil producers coming up next week. The African oil and gas experts will among other things, deliberate on these key areas majoring on how best to grow African oil and gas market considering the decline in international demand.
He was however quick to express worry on the inability of Nigeria to pocket the African terrain of the market, and assured that Africa must be captured in terms of contract awards, whether in crude, investment or other formulations.
Part of the new strategy to achieve seamless capture of the continental market will include building a relationship nexus that would enable Nigeria look at the African market due to the competitive nature of the environment.
He agreed that it has become difficult to capture America and Europe as their demand base is fast declining, adding that the only continent that are available for capture are Africa and Asia.
While revealing that the new idea must be a strategy that must ensure that every drop of oil or gas that comes into Africa must be from Nigeria, the Minister recalled that “These are the things that our country and Angola need to fashion out to stabilize supplies. It would be perused over the next few years, as OPEC’s struggles to capture its market would become very critical”.