OPEC has promised make 600 million Africans who are without electricity a priority in its global energy transition discussions.
The new secretary-general of the cartel, Kuwait’s Haitham Al Ghais, said this during a virtual event where he engaged the Nigerian media on his immediate plans for the oil and gas industry after assuming duty as the new head of the organisation.
“The African continent has over 1.2 billion population, with over 600 people without electricity. There is an ongoing discussion about energy transition, and the voice of the people needs to be heard and taken into consideration and accounted for.
“In the energy transition, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Everybody’s voice must be represented and everybody must be part of the dialogue, particularly on the African continent,” he declared.
He underscored the critical role Nigeria plays in OPEC and its pivotal place in the African oil and gas market, and promised to visit Nigeria soon.
According to him, with the cooperation of Nigeria and other member nations, OPEC would weather the storms in the global oil market sooner than imagined.
The OPEC scribe commended the new Nigeria, Niger, Algeria gas pipeline, describing a strategic and significant development, adding that, “Any assistance to be rendered to the continent must be collectively discussed and agreed on by all stakeholders in OPEC.”
On his predecessor, the late Mohammed Barkindo, the new OPEC boss said the framework he laid and his legacies for stabilizing the global oil industry shall be sustained.
“In OPEC, the direction is dictated by market conditions, which is what unites OPEC and the wider group of OPEC+, to do whatever is necessary to maintain the market balance.
“Healthy state of the market, which is a balance between supply and demand, is to the benefit of not only the oil producing, but also the oil consuming countries, and the wider global economy.
“I will maintain this course and direction. It is not only me personally, it is all the organisations within OPEC member countries and the wider alliance of the OPEC+ who are interested in maintaining what the late Barkindo embarked on in 2016.”
Al Ghais paid an exceptional tribute to Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo, who died on July 5, 2022 while on a visit to Nigeria. The new OPEC secretary-general had been unanimously picked by member nations in January and was already in waiting to succeed Barkindo before the death of Barkindo.