Uche Usim, Abuja
Equatorial Guinea will be enjoying the technical support of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and Waltersmith Petroleum Oil Limited as it seeks to establish modular refineries that will refine its crude and hydrocarbon resources.
The bi-lateral cooperation was confirmed at the weekend when the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Mr Simbi Wabote and Chairman Waltersmith, Mr. Abdulrazaq Isah hosted the Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons, Equatorial Guinea, Mr Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima at the 5000 barrels a day Waltersmith modular refinery being developed at Ibigwe in Imo State.
Commending stakeholders of the Nigerian petroleum industry for the achievements recorded so far with modular refineries, the Minister stated that his country plans to replicate the initiative, so it can stop the wholesome export of its crude oil and begin to add value to the resources.
”We believe that with this cooperation and experience between our country and Waltersmith and the Nigerian petroleum industry, we should be able to replicate it.”
He noted that Nigeria had vast experience in the hydrocarbons industry, adding that Equatorial Guinea would also understudy the commercial aspects of the modular refinery project to ensure that its planned investments would be economically viable.
He underscored the need for knowledge and experience sharing amongst African countries, particularly in the petroleum sector, stating that ”there are a lot of things we can learn from brotherly countries and in this case-Nigeria. Rather than go to Europe or United States or Asia, we decided to visit our neighbour, to see what they are doing.”
He expressed delight that a new dawn had come in the African oil industry and nations needed to start utilizing their crude oil resources more efficiently. ‘‘We cannot continue to export crude oil. We should start processing our products and we are watching what Nigeria is doing and we want to replicate them.” In his remarks, the Executive Secretary NCDMB described the cooperation between Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea as a perfect example of the benefits of the recently signed Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCTA), which encourages African countries to trade and cooperate among themselves.