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Sylva Calls for Establishment of African Energy Bank

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, has called for the establishment of an Africa Energy Bank to help improve investments in the oil and gas sector in the continent.

Sylva made the call during the visit of the Equatorial Guinea’s Minister of Hydrocarbon, Mr Gabriel Lima, in Abuja, on Monday, according to a statement from the ministry.

The minister said since western nations were scaling down funding for hydrocarbon exploration across the world due to the race for renewable energies, setting up an African Energy Bank would be the only alternative available to African countries to continue to explore the vast hydrocarbon resources in the continent.

He said the call for the establishment of the energy bank was heightened by the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, stressing that the Petroleum Industry Act would open up the oil and gas sector for huge investments.

Sylva said, “The PIA is a watershed moment for us in Nigeria. This is the time for us to get out of Nigeria to market this investment environment. We must not go out of Africa to attract investments. We must set up structures to fund our system.

“If we insist on the exploration of our oil and gas reserves when the world is cutting down on investments in the sector, we must set a financial institution, an African Energy Bank, to develop the oil and gas sector.”

He added, “If we go into more exploration in Africa, we will find more oil and gas, and must we leave it under the ground because the other countries are racing for renewable energy?

“We must find a way to explore it, and that’s why we need an energy bank along the line of the African Development Bank.”

The minister called for synergy among African nations, saying no country in the world would help Africa develop other than Africans themselves.

He said, “None of us can grow without each other. It is not all the time that we run to Europe or America or elsewhere for support.

“We need to keep talking and we need mutual cooperation to solve our own problem. We can achieve this under African Petroleum Producers Organisation.”

Speaking during the visit, Lima congratulated Nigeria for the passage of the PIA, saying with the passage of the law, the country was ready for serious business in the oil and gas sector of the economy.

Lima said he was in Nigeria to follow up on an earlier engagement between Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea as well as explore other areas where both countries could partner.

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