AfCFTA: Cross-border Service Integration Will Boost African Oil And Gas Industry — Chief Briggs

By John Ikani

The Chairman of Platform Petroleum Limited, Chief (Barr.) Dumo Lulu Briggs, has admonished that cross-border service integration through the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area, AfCFTA will boost the African oil and gas industry.

Briggs who spoke on the theme ‘AfCFTA: Cross-border service integration as enabler of project delivery in the African oil and gas industry’ at the African local content collaboration session at the 2022 Offshore Technology Conference in Houston Texas, United States of America, noted that AfCFTA represents a new optimism and the continental approach at comparable scale is expected to have greater success in Africa.

“Hopefully, collaborations would improve the intra-Africa trade flows which is a poor 15% compared to North America (48%), Asia (58%) and Europe (67%). Although recorded trade underestimates the volume of actual trade and if proper account was taken of the size of the informal trades, the African numbers would not look so out of line.

Nevertheless, this statistic confirms that Africa trades with the rest of the world, not with itself, a trend which the AfCFTA aims to revolutionise through the creation of a single market for free movement of goods, services, and persons,” he said.

According to him, Africa can learn from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which became the largest economy globally with the 3rd largest labour force in the world in 2017 during its 50th anniversary.

While commending the organisers of the session for bringing together oil and gas producers, service providers, regulators, government officials, local content advisers, lenders, members of the academic community and other stakeholders to dimension the opportunities and challenges faced by the industry and to identify promising approaches to the implementation of cross border service integration and customs union, Chief Briggs opined that of the 15% of trade reported as intra-Africa, Oil and Gas is estimated to account for 75%, indicating that the industry is central to the prosperity of the continent and can become an enabler for other sectors.

“Removal of trade barriers will not only improve efficiency, enhance competition, and incentivise development of strategic solutions to local challenges through regional economies of scale, but essentially advance the efficacy of resource allocation.

Regional integration is pivotal to ensure that energy resources get from localities where they are most affordable, to where they are required.

A key anticipated outcome of the agreement is the acceleration of industrial output that would depend on the availability, affordability and security of energy supplies at a scale for industrial growth,” he added.

Chief Briggs said the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill into Law on August 16, 2021 will help to reform and improve the competitiveness of Nigerian Oil and Gas industry as well as attract the needed Foreign Direct Investment for growth.

He called on African financial institutions, including investment banks, commercial banks, development financial institutions to collaborate in order to provide the requisite capital to support oil and gas projects on the continent.

“Nigeria alone would require about $20 billion annually to sustain a 3 million barrels of oil per day output and increase gas production to circa 8 billion standard cubic feet per day to meet its demand.

With huge oil and gas reserves, government incentives for Oil and Gas Investments as demonstrated by the recently passed Petroleum Industry Act 2021, increasing competitive gas pricing, attractive Return on Investments (ROI) and deepwater fiscals and the availability of investments opportunities (open bid rounds, marginal fields, divestments, etc.), and strong presence of exploration and development activities with highly qualified E&P professionals in critical mass, Nigeria is ready.

The stage is set for greater trade collaboration in Africa and our industry cannot afford to be left behind,” he said.

The astute technocrat warned relevant agencies to ensure the success of AfCFTA to revolutionise the continent.

He warned that, “we must avoid a situation where, because of trade and custom barriers, Benin Republic would rather import Cement from France instead of trucking the cements across the border from Dangote Cement.

In the same vein, Aliko Dangote had to wait for a couple of weeks to obtain a visa for a business meeting in an African country whereas his business partners for the same meeting were able to obtain the same visa on arrival.
This must be nipped in the bud and must never happen again”.

Platform Petroleum Limited, a local content brand and a prominent indigenous player in the marginal field space, having won its flagship asset, the Umutu/Asuokpu Marginal field (renamed as Egbaoma Field) in the 2003/2004 marginal field bid round was among the top African Collaboration Session for the 2022 OTC.


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My dear fellow compatriots and Rivers people, I welcome you gladly to this new month of May. Remember, it’s still a year of possibilities and truly every new month heralds new possibilities. Permit me this day to greet you with a message that draws from my undying passion to see a return of that social system that supported the dreams and aspirations of our fathers and mothers; every Rivers man, woman and child.

I do believe that we all understand the extent of our collective fortune and can also relate with our existential problems as Rivers people. Yes, Rivers State is blessed and it’s wonderful to behold that even in our diversity, we remain people of a common history and future, bound together by a shared sense of duty to our base of treasure. So, whatever happens to one happens to the other.

While I recognize that we are each driven by different ideas of how that duty can be fulfilled, let me remind us again that history is not made by men and women who do nothing; history can only be made by men and women who take the right and necessary actions. We all need some true change but the change can only happen if you replace the “self” with the ‘We”; when we all embrace and advance the “WE” Agenda’ philosophy which is about Putting People First.

The “WE” Agenda breaks political boundaries and demands our collective commitment to the message that we all matter. This is the time to speak truth to power; to tell those who need to hear that you matter and that things must be done differently. We are committed to erasing the politics of bitterness and putting down that of hate. And it has to start from you recognising how important it is for you to equip yourself as a voter and prepare to participate in politics and governance.

God bless you and happy new Month my people.

Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs.

Happy New Month

This is a month of growth through the abundance of God’s light and positive energy. As we strive individually and collectively, may God Almighty grant us the insight and courage to achieve our goals and put people first in our considerations in this new month and beyond. Happy New Month to you all. DLB


Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs has joined the 2023 governorship race in the oil rich Rivers State. The Kalabari-Ijaw born oil mogul and philanthropist made his intention known this Friday while talking to journalists at the Port Harcourt International Airport. He was arriving from Lagos after receiving an award of excellence in the oil and gas sector from Forbes

With so much optimism, Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs, said he will run an administration that caters for the aspirations of all Rivers people, saying that the incumbent Governor Nyesom Wike will be delighted to have someone like him take over governance.

He promised to run an all inclusive government of all Rivers people and change the narrative from an oil dependent economy to a state that flourishes in education, manufacturing, tourism and agriculture. This he said will create a lot of employment for the youths.

On the clamour for a riverine governor, Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs said that although he is running on his proven competence and character, it will be proper for Rivers-Ijaw to produce the next governor of Rivers State, promising to develop the entire state when elected.

Happy new month of February

Happy new month of February to you all my dear people!
I believe that God Almighty has prepared us all for the experiences of the ensuing months in this beautiful year. Remember, “impossibility is nothing” as long as you faithfully welcome into your heart the divine decree that this is indeed your year of possibilities and also proceed to expressing a firm determination for success in all of your endeavors. I wish you health, sound mind and success today and always. God bless you.
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Sokari Benita Briggs, Happiness Belema and 381 others


“I have always dreamed about climbing the horse but I never found the courage to do so, and indeed I actually feared doing that. But on a day that the Port Harcourt Polo Club chose to honor my father, High Chief (Dr.) O. B. Lulu-Briggs, I found the courage finally and the opportunity to mount the horse.”
“I thank the Port Harcourt Polo Club for this wonderful honor; not just having named the building after my father, they have also decided to give him double immortalization by renaming the Governor’s cup after him.”
“I’m very excited today; on the next horse with me is a very close friend, a colleague, and major partner in the oil industry, ChuChu (Engr. Chukwudi Dimkpa). I see old friends, members of the public, and people who love Port Harcourt here, and it’s really a moment to cherish and keep throughout life. I thank Port Harcourt Polo Club for the great honor.”
It was indeed a great day that will stay in memory forever. God bless Rivers State.

Thanks to God

I give thanks to God for the success of my father’s burial and I am very grateful to everyone from all over the world who one way or another made the burial a success.
There were a lot of talks before we even started, and of course there were also a lot of prayers. The story of the family was everywhere and it looked like it was never going to happen. Remember, our father past on at least some two years and few months ago and we just buried him on the 13th of March. So it seemed impossible. It looked like there was a lot of crisis in the family and we couldn’t put the finger on what was going on. But when you know how to pray and invite God into all your affairs, His grace and mercy shall always be sufficient. And that was sufficient, we were able to give our father a befitting passage.
I will of course express my gratitude to everyone in a more elaborate and comprehensive manner but while that waits let me use this medium to say thank you to my beloved Abonnema people, my respected Chiefs, my dear family members; women, men, young boys and girls who all through the weeks participated in all the cultural and customary activities to mark the glorious passing of our beloved Opuda. May God bless you immensely.
I will remain ever grateful to the First Family, His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari and his beloved wife Her Excellency Mrs. Aisha Muhammadu Buhari who was represented by the wife of my good friend and brother the former Governor of Bayelsa State and current Minister of state for petroleum, His Excellency Timi Sylva; to the former president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and his loving wife Dame Patience Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and to the ever vibrant Governor of our loving Rivers State, His Excellency Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike and members of his Cabinet and other government officials who accompanied him to honor my father.
Thank you to all the clergymen, members of the bar, political leaders, elder statesmen, Royal Highnesses, the media, the general public and of course members of the Central Burial Committee who put in their very best to ensure that we achieved success.
May God bless everyone in Jesus name.


My father had a tough life; he never had a formal education all his life but grew to become what he was. And it gladdens our heart to know that when affluence came he embraced the world with the warmth of that affluence, and he gave like giving was out of fashion. And he would always say to you “to thyself always be true, and as day follows night that which will be will be”. He taught me that love is not an exchange, so you don’t love because you expect to be loved in return. Love is an act of faith; you just do it because you have to do it expecting nothing in return. You are doing it because you believe in God. And from my father’s story it is very clear that your background is not the reason you back is on the ground; you can always get moving.
So, on behalf of the Lulu-Briggs family, I thank all of us who are seated here; traditional rulers who are here that have come from Bakassi in Cross/Rivers State, friends of my father who came from Plateau State, the former Governor, Dr. Peter Odili and all those who spoke glowingly of our father; one of my teachers that I have tremendous respect for, O. C. J. Okocha, my friend Senator Magnus Abe, the choirs, the orchestra, Oma Pitch, Mercy Chinwo and all of the wonderful and respectable personalities who came to honor my father today, we can’t thank you enough but I will still say thank you so much on behalf of the Lulu-Briggs family.
My younger sister Rachael is here and she spoke very glowingly and I will like to say that we are a family; we want to be a family with everybody, with our stepmother and with all. There is nothing that has happened that we shall allow it to define us. The life of our father must be the only mirror through which we see the world. He was a very forgiving person; a very loving person and so we forgive ourselves and all of us. We pray that we keep the flag flying and that we do not bury the Lulu-Briggs family with our dearly departed father. So, we must come together; we need all your prayers. Thank you and God bless us all.
Chief Dumo O. B. Lulu-Briggs


Today was an eventful day. It started gracefully with an Art Exhibition at the Ebitimi Banigo Hall and ended gloriously with an evening of Tributes, Music, and Drama at the University’s Convocation Arena. The awesome words, the soul-lifting songs, and the dramatic performances all made it wonderful and memorable.
I thank the University of Port Harcourt, the Vice-Chancellor of the school Prof. Stephen Okodudu and the various respectable former Vice-Chancellors including Emeritus Prof. Nimi D. Briggs, OON, 5th VC of the school; Prof. Don Baridam, 6th VC; Prof. Joseph A. Ajienka, 7th VC of the school and the Registrar for the great honor done a great man; my father today. This institution has always shown a sense of oneness with my family; truly, the school has always appreciated my family. And in keeping faith in the legacies of my father, I will also be a friend in need with the school.
God bless you all.

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