The Federal Government on Monday promised that it would support Senegal by sharing Nigeria’s oil exploration experiences with the West African nation as the foreign country intensified its production of oil and gas.
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, made the promise in Abuja, while playing host to a delegation from Senegal, led by the country’s Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Aissatou Gladima.
Sylva told his guests that Nigeria had been into oil production for over 60 years and had grown its local content in oil the sector from three per cent to 43 per cent in 10 years.
The minister said the target of the Federal Government was to grow local participation in Nigeria’s oil sector to 70 per cent by 2027.
He noted that Senegal was new into the exploration of crude oil and as such would need to learn from Nigeria’s experiences in the business.
“This is the best time to incorporate some of the experiences that we have had and that is why it is very important that you came now. I want to assure you that we will work with you,” the minister stated.
Sylva further said, “In the oil sector, we have some advantage as a country because we’ve been in this sector for a very long time and a lot of lessons have been learnt. Oil production in Nigeria started as early as 1927 but no commercial production was made until the 1950s.”
He charged the delegation from Senegal to work with Nigeria, stressing that it was high time African countries came together to develop the continent.
The minister said, “It is important for us as region to come together. We as Africans must work together in order to chart a way forward. We cannot continue to depend on Europe and the outside world.
“In fact, it had been proven over and over again that they cannot be responsible for our development. We have to take full responsibility for our development and that is why we are happy that you are here today.”
Responding, Gladima described Nigeria as a good place for Senegal to learn about the production of oil since Nigeria had been producing crude oil for over 50 years, as she alluded to the position of Sylva that Africans must work together. PUNCH