Alweendo stresses importance of policy environment for oil and gas sector

Minister of Mines and Energy, Tom Alweendo, has emphasised the importance of Namibia’s policy environment, particularly its institutional and political aspects, in ensuring that the discovery of oil and gas becomes a blessing for the country.

Alweendo made these remarks at the National Stakeholder Workshop on the Draft Local Content Policy (LCP) held in Windhoek.

He said the ministry is dedicated to safeguarding the country’s resources and implementing policies that will enable all Namibians to benefit.

Alweendo stressed that inclusivity and transparency should be key guiding principles during the policy drafting process, saying merely putting policies on paper is not enough and the actual implementation should ensure ethical operations across the board.

“I am also equally aware that designing an LCP is complex and that each LCP must reflect our realities and priorities. We need an LCP that will facilitate economic diversification and deepen backward and forward linkages from various segments of the oil and gas sector value chain, thereby fast-tracking our industrialisation,” he said.

The minister further stated that the policy must include elements that prioritise job creation for Namibians, foster in-country value creation to accelerate industrialisation, and enhance local entrepreneurship through enterprise development, skills, and technology transfer. It will be a requirement for international companies participating in Namibia’s oil and gas sector to fully comply with the LCP.

Petroleum Commissioner Maggy Shino noted that the benefits from recent discoveries might take several years to materialise.

“It is an exercise that can take another three years to get to the development phase. Depending on the challenges of the environment you are in, it can take between five and 10 years. There are countries where it can take up to five years. There are also countries that have made discoveries and started development 15 years down the line, but they have not been able to complete the development stage,” she said.

Shino highlighted the importance of unity among Namibians to ensure that the policy drafting process protects the hard work invested in capitalising on and contributing to the economy through oil and gas.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency