Chief Executive Officer and Chairperson of the Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board (NIPDB), Nangula Uaandja, said that Namibians should organise themselves and not solely focus on the oil discoveries.
She said to abandon everything else and merely focus on the oil discoveries will force the country into poverty, should oil become redundant.
Uaandja made these remarks on Tuesday at the official launch of the National Oil and Gas Conference 2023, which is set to take place on 16 and 17 August in Windhoek.
She added that although oil has been found on a deep-sea level in the Orange Basin on the outskirts of Namibia and the Atlantic Ocean, getting that oil out of the ocean may be challenging, but the country cannot wait until it is confirmed that drilling will begin before this conversation can be had.
“How do we make sure that whatever we get from that oil is sustained? How do we make sure that we maximise the benefits for Namibia and its people? How do we make sure we don’t only drill a well, get oil out, export and not benefit upstream, downstream and along the value chain,” Uaandja asked.
The CEO further stated that Namibia will need to listen to guidance and wisdom, and for that reason, the upcoming conference is necessary as it will have people who have experience in oil and gas, as well as many Namibians who will be impacted by the development of it.
“At this stage, the amount of money required to drill this oil is significant, and more money will be required in the development. Thus, at this stage, the development is in the hands of the private companies that are drilling,” she said.
Uaandja added that the government can work with these companies and make sure there are legislative policies that are well balanced towards promoting investment, all while ensuring that Namibians get a fair share, as other countries around the world have done.
Source: The Namibia Press Agency