The FCT Minister of State, Dr Ramatu Aliyu, has called for unity and integration among member countries of African Petroleum Producers Organisation (APPO).
Aliyu made the call at the APPO Council of Ministers extra-ordinary session dinner on Friday in Abuja.
According to her, integration among African oil producing countries will enable them to maximise the developmental and welfare benefits from petroleum exploration activities.
Aliyu, in a statement signed by Mr Austine Elemue, her Special Assistant on Media, said that APPO member countries must end the disunity among them.
The minister said this was necessary for the continent to compete favourably with the likes of Saudi Arabia, Russia and the United States.
She advised African leaders to assist member countries to create synergies in their oil and gas industries, adding that such would strengthen Africa’s influence in the world markets and meet its energy needs.
Aliyu said that APPO, with 18-member countries, accounted for 95 per cent of Africa’s oil production and 13 per cent world oil production.
“There is no doubt in my mind that Africa’s oil and gas potential can compete today with that of any other region in the world.
“If Africa were to be considered as a single producer, it is certain that our continent would challenge Saudi Arabia, Russia and the United States.
“However, to properly compete, we must put an end to the disunity and hyper-balkanisation that characterised today’s Africa and further promote its integration,” she said.
Aliyu said that Africa had been proven to host mega discoveries with a wealth of untapped and undiscovered potentials.
According to her, the investments in Africa gas and oil are beginning to pick up with the rebound in oil price.
“Today most African countries are silos doing things their own ways, building their own refineries, plants and gas turbine.
“This should not be the way to go rather we should extend hands of infrastructural relationship across Africa, build joint pipeline, plants and refineries.
“Until we begin to protect the African market, then we would have taken a huge step, not only in the development of Africa, but to the stabilisation of independent countries,” she said.
Mr Omar Ibrahim, the APPO Secretary-General, said that there was need for the organisation to build trans-border infrastructure for the benefit of the continent.
According to him, the organisation will achieve more successes by putting its resources together.
He commended Nigeria’s roles and contributions in the growth and development of Africa and APPO since inception 30 years ago.