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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Nigerian government bids to host $5 billion African energy bank

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The Nigerian government on Tuesday expressed its willingness to host the African Energy Bank (AEB).

The nomination exercise took place on Tuesday at a dinner for the heads of mission of the envoys of the members of the African Petroleum Producers Organization (APPO) in Abuja.

According to the government, hosting the bank in Nigeria will ensure proximity to key energy technocrats and experts, which is essential to formulate and implement effective solutions to Africa’s energy challenges.

The government said the headquarters of the African Energy Bank in Abuja, Nigeria, perfectly aligns with the country’s strategic position as a leading energy producer, while noting that the location will leverage significant oil and gas reserves, human capital , Nigeria’s financial infrastructure and access to decision-making. responsible for the urgent actions needed to address the energy access crisis in Africa.

Speaking at the dinner, President Bola Tinubu said: “Tonight we stand on the brink of a transformative opportunity, an opportunity that holds immense promise not only for Nigeria but for the entire African continent.”

Tinubu, represented by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Petroleum), Heineken Lokpobiri, explained that the establishment of the AEB represents a bold and strategic step to ensure energy security, foster economic growth and promote sustainable development across Africa.

Lokpobiri noted that the bank’s share capital, estimated at $5 billion, is expected to be subscribed in three years with an initial capital of $1.5 billion reserved for APPO member countries. AfreximBank has been supporting APPO to establish the bank and has approved an investment of $1.75 billion for the bank.

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“Nigeria’s candidacy to host the headquarters of this vital institution is a testament to our unwavering commitment to these goals. Over the past few months, the Ministry of Petroleum Resources has worked tirelessly to prepare for this moment.

“We have achieved important milestones, including a comprehensive assessment by the APPO Afrexim-Bank inspection team. Its positive assessment underlines Nigeria’s readiness and capacity to host the AEB.

“However, the journey does not end here. To secure hosting rights, we need the collective support of all APPO member countries. Our competitors have intensified their efforts by appointing special envoys to lobby for their offers. In response, we call on each of you to recognize the advantages of locating the AEB headquarters in Nigeria,” he said.

He added that Nigeria offers a strategic geographical location, strong infrastructure and a dynamic energy sector.

“Our nation is committed to fostering a collaborative environment that will enable the AEB to thrive and fulfill its mandate effectively. We also call on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to campaign vigorously through its missions in APPO member countries. Your support in this effort is crucial to our success.

“We call on you (ambassadors) to support Nigeria to host the headquarters of the African Energy Bank. In addition to my communication with my ministerial counterparts from different APPO countries, we decided that you, who are here in Abuja, we should engage you so that you can help us convey a message to your home countries.

“Please give them to them. The President, Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has committed to having the APPO headquarters in Abuja. Please give us the indulgence to host this important power bank of Africa,” he said.

Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Nicholas Ella, noted that Nigeria’s strategic location at the crossroads of West Africa makes Abuja an unrivaled nexus of connectivity and accessibility.

With its extensive network of transport infrastructure and logistics capabilities, Ella said, Abuja offers a strategic gateway to the entire African continent, providing the African Energy Bank with unparalleled access to key energy markets, stakeholders and decision makers across Africa.

“By selecting Abuja as a host city, the African Energy Bank can serve as a hub of connectivity, fostering collaboration and catalyzing progress on a continental scale.”

He added that Nigeria’s rich endowment of oil, gas and renewable energy resources presents an unparalleled opportunity for the AEB to harness the continent’s vast energy potential and drive sustainable development.

“With proven reserves of more than 37 billion barrels of oil and 5 trillion cubic meters of natural gas, Nigeria is among Africa’s leading energy producers,” he said.

Furthermore, he said Nigeria’s burgeoning renewable energy sector, characterized by abundant solar and wind resources, holds immense promise in powering Africa’s future.

In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Adamu Lamuwa, represented by the Nigerian Ambassador to Cuba, Ben Okoye, noted that the seriousness of the decision cannot be underestimated.

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“The gravity of this decision cannot be underestimated as it has the power to shape the trajectory of energy cooperation and development in Africa for generations to come. Allow me to express my deepest gratitude for your unwavering dedication to this noble cause and your steadfast commitment to fostering collaboration and partnership among African nations.

“It is through meetings like this that we have the opportunity to harness the collective wisdom, experience and knowledge of our diverse nations to confront head-on the formidable energy challenges facing our continent.

“As we embark on this transformative journey together, guided by the principles of cooperation, inclusion and sustainability, I have unwavering confidence in our collective ability to realize a future of prosperity and progress for all Africans,” he said.

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