NAIROBI– President Uhuru Kenyatta flagged off the first consignment of crude oil destined for export from Kenya on Sunday, which he described as a great day for Kenya and which will lead to oil becoming a major contributor to the nation’s economy.
The president flagged off trucks loaded with crude oil from the Ngamia 8 field, in the Turkana oil fields innorthwestern Turkana County, about 500 kilometres north of here, as part of the Early Oil Pilot Scheme to export the crude oil before the completion of a pipeline to nove the crude from the oil fields to the coast.
A great day for Kenya, the President wrote in the visitor’s book on arrival at Ngamia in the Turkana heartland. He hoped Kenya would effectively manage oil and other natural resources to avoid the negative results which have confronted many other nations following new discoveries.
Kenya is using the Early Oil Pilot Scheme, which will soon be followed by the Full Field Development phase, to establish itself as a crude oil exporter in the region and provide valuable information for future exploration and development.
This flag-off event and the anticipated implementation of the Early Oil Pilot (EOP) Scheme marks the beginning of a long and fruitful journey, said President Kenyatta when he spoke after flagging off the crude oil laden trucks.
The President, who was accompanied by Deputy President William Ruto, said what Kenya stands to gain from the production and exportation of petroleum products cannot be understated. Production of petroleum products will strengthen the existing economic and commercial partnerships and enhance the opportunities for growth and investments within the country.
My Government will therefore focus on the development of our oil and gas sectors for the betterment of the economy and people, said the President.
The President said the initial petroleum exports will create scalable local employment and business opportunities including in the hospitality and security sectors. It will also enhance vocational training opportunities for our young people to ensure that they participate in the oil and gas industry.
The pilot scheme will also incentivise better road infrastructure in the region and spur electricity connectivity to more households in Turkana.
Kenya’s breakthrough places it at the forefront in the East African region which is fast becoming a key player in the global petroleum sector.
With the discovery of oil and gas in Uganda and Tanzania and the ongoing explorations in Ethiopia and DRC, (Democratic Republic of Congo), Kenya finds itself in the company of other resourceful African nations, said President Kenyatta.
Kenya embarked on the exploration of petroleum in Turkana County in 2012. Under the Early Oil Pilot Scheme 2,000 barrels of oil per day will be transported to the Indian Ocean port of Mombasa by road for eventual shipment.
President Kenyatta warned of the danger of losing all the benefits that can come from Kenya’s new oil wealth in the absence of effective resource management.
The negative competition for oil and other natural resources has seen peaceful countries go to war. It has seen brothers take up arms against each other as mothers bury their children with no hope for the future, said the President when he addressed dignitaries, leaders and residents of Turkana County who gathered to witness him flagging off Kenya’s first petroleum exports.
President Kenyatta, who later addressed a public rally at Lokichar town, said Kenyans should draw lessons from other countries that failed to manage their resources and ended up with suffering, hungry and poor citizenry.
I pray that we will not be visited with the same curse. I also pray that we will view the discovery of oil and gas as a blessing that we will manage effectively and efficiently for the benefit of future generations, said the President.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK