Nigerian Minister Backs Sudan's Admission into APPA

The formal admission of Sudan into the African Petroleum Producers Association (APPA) yesterday received the endorsement of the minister of petroleum resources, Dr. Rilwanu Lukman, as part of the body.

At the event which took place at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Towers in Abuja, the Minister of Energy and Mining of the Federal Republic of Sudan, Mr Ahzubair Ahmed Al-hassan signed on behalf of his country while Lukman signed on behalf of Nigeria.

"APPA was formed on January 27, 1987 in Lagos at the instance of Nigeria to promote cooperation among member countries in the diverse fields of hydrocarbons such as exploration, production, refining, petrochemicals, marketing and human resources," said Lukman.

He said APPA had created the much-needed platform for exchange of experiences and ideas amongst member countries.

According to him, the platform had been exemplified in the shared initiatives, especially in terms of policies and strategic management in all the sector of the oil industry which has enabled member countries to maximize their profits in the exploitation of their non-renewable resources in the face of dwindling crude oil prices and the concomitant global economic crisis.

The Nigerian minister stated that Sudan was admitted into APPA during the 26th Ordinary Session led in Brazzavile, Republic of Congo on March 28, 2009, adding "in furtherance of that admission that you today sign the statue of the Association thereby formalizing your membership."

Lukman stated that with the bilateral relations between the two countries, Sudan's admission into the association was welcome.

In his words, "I consider the membership of our long-time desire to foster stronger economic, social and political relationship between us."
Likman added that Nigeria was prepared to share its tremendous experience in exploration and management of hydrocarbon resources with the Sudanesse.

"It is my fervent hope therefore, that both countries will play very crucial roles in the advancement of the objectives of African Petroleum Producers Association for the improvement of the economic well-being of our peoples," Likman said. "I want to assure you of Nigeria's irrevocable commitment to this."

The Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr. Mohanmmed Barkindo, noted that Sudan is the 15th member of APPA, from the original four.

In his response, Ahmed Alhassan thanked the Nigeian government for the role it has played in keeping peace in Sudan and reassured of his country's commitment to the objective of APPA. 

BBC Monitoring. Copyright BBC.