Mr Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, Minister of Petroleum, has called on delegates of this year’s ECOWAS Mining and Petroleum Forum and Exhibition (ECOMOF) to collectively develop the extractive sector by adding value to crude to earn more revenue for national development.
He said this at a three-day forum attended by representatives of the various ECOWAS member states and key stakeholders in the sector. The forum was aimed at developing efficient partnerships among all stakeholders.
Honourable Buah noted that despite the continent’s rich endowment of natural resources, there remained the challenge of taking the opportunities fully utilize the resource potential for the benefit of the countries and the continent at large.
“Ladies and gentlemen, it is a known fact that the minerals and petroleum resource potential of our sub region is enormous. The region is blessed with all kinds of resources.
You name it. Oil, gas, gold, diamond, manganese and I can go on and on. In the area of oil and gas which obviously is of great concern to me, many more countries along the Gulf of Guinea are attracting new investments and making historic discoveries. Despite our region’s undisputed potential in all these resources, there remains the challenge of taking the opportunities to optimally utilize this resource potential”, the honourable minister noted.
Mr Buah explained that with the need to reverse the existing paradox “hunger in the mist of plenty”, he believed that the theme, “Valorizing West Africa’s Mineral and Petroleum Resources through Regional Cooperation,” was appropriately chosen by organisers.
He stressed his hope that the deliberations at the forum would provide the foundation blocks that would enable the sub region construct the needed transformative agenda to deliver national and regional economic development, create employment and improve the standard of living of the average ECOWAS citizen.