The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has urged Nigeria to sustain its ongoing energy reforms in order to succeed in transforming the country.
The Secretary General of OPEC, Dr Mohammed Barkindo, stated this in Abuja on Tuesday while addressing State House correspondents, after a closed door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, at the Presidential Villa.
According to him, there is no alternative to the ongoing reforms in the Oil, Gas and Power sectors, saying that the reform must be sustained by ensuring continuity in policy implementation.
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“At home here, the reforms that have been embarked upon in the oil and gas and power sectors, as I told Mr President a short while ago there is no alternative to these reforms.
“Therefore, what we need to do is to collectively ensure that these reforms are sustained.
“The bane in the past has been lack of continuity of policies and programmes.
“Energy reforms the world over normally take some time to reach their targets.
“So, I think we have taken the right steps here.
“And what we need, is to continue and sustain these reforms so that the entire energy scene will be totally reformed at the end of the day in the interest of the country and the international community.’’
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Barkindo enjoined member countries of OPEC to remain united to enable them confront the challenges facing the energy sector worldwide.
He, however, expressed optimism that tremendous efforts were being made by member countries to overcome the challenges.
“Now, these structural changes swept across the entire industry, member countries of OPEC will have to remain united to confront these challenges.
“Every member country of OPEC has a variety of challenges both within the industry and the economy at last.
“But tremendous efforts are being made by member countries to overcome the challenges.
“But at the organisational level we will need more unity of ministers and governments, as well as our governors and our national representatives, so that together OPEC will be able to overcome these challenges and become even stronger.’’
On Niger Delta crisis, Barkindo commended the Federal Government for resolving the problem through negotiations and dialogue.
“We are beginning to see positive results.
“So, I don’t think it will be proper to pre-empt these discussions that are being handled by Dr Ibe Kachukwu.
“But, I remain confident that through these negotiations, stable and permanent solutions to this problem will be found because the Niger Delta region is a very important part of our country.
“And whatever we can do to address the challenges of development, I think is the way forward.
“I have been told that production is beginning to rise again.
“So, for us in OPEC, this is the first thing we look at: how much is a member country producing.
“When we saw that production was falling in Nigeria as a result of the recent challenges, the international community, the market also took note of that.
“But now I think things are beginning to come back to normalcy and I have seen some of your reports that are also very positive.’’ (NAN)