Namibians must manage Recon, says CEO

26 July 2021 | Energy

OGONE TLHAGE

WINDHOEK

Oil exploration company Recon Africa says Namibians stand to benefit significantly if they take ownership of the oil exploration project, and not just from a shareholding perspective.

Its CEO, Scot Evans, made the remark when asked about the potential for increased local ownership in the project while appearing on the ‘Evening Review’.

The Canadian company is currently engaged in oil exploration in the Kavango East Region.

Strong laws

Evans said Namibia’s petroleum laws allow locals the opportunity to benefit significantly from any potential oil riches in future, adding that Recon intended to honour local laws.

“There’s a very strong set of petroleum laws in Namibia; they are world class. There are several phases to this project; there’s the exploration phase where we are right now and there’s the production phase and so those phases are all defined in the petroleum laws and we plan on honouring those laws,” Evans said.

According to Evans, great benefits would be derived if Namibians were involved in the company at various levels.

Namibianisation is key

“From the country’s perspective, my experience has been that the sooner we have a local organisation, nothing run by expats, an organisation that is run 100% by Namibians, and that we hire and train others, if that is on the ground from the very beginning and that has been our goal and that is where we are today, that is how the country benefits and that’s how best things move going forward, making sure that Namibia’s people run this company and their making good decisions (sic),” Evans said.

Optimism

Despite environmental concerns over the oil and gas exploration conducted by Recon Africa at Kawe village in the Kavango East Region, the recent announcement of an early discovery of a working conventional petroleum system has been welcomed as a sign of good fortune for the poor region.

Rundu Rural constituency councillor Paulus Mbangu had previously told Namibian Sun that the possibility of oil and gas reserves was great news for the country as oil is one of the commodities that have a great impact on the economy of some countries.

“In a nutshell, it would help the economy of the country and that of the region, as well as provide employment to the locals. Given the fact that our region is one of the poorest, the discovery is a welcomed move,” Mbangu said.