President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday enumerated benefits Nigeria is to enjoy from the landmark Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano Gas (AKK) pipeline project.
Buhari said the project was very dear to the people of Nigeria and must succeed, while affirming his administration’s commitment to ensure timely delivery of the project within budgetary allocation and specifications.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on Media & Publicity.
The project had a simultaneous virtual flag-off ceremony at the Ajaokuta, Kogi State and Rigachikun, Kaduna State camp sites.
The AKK gas pipeline project involves the establishment of a connecting gas pipeline network that will integrate the Northern region of the country with the Niger Delta, Eastern and Western regions of the Country.
According to the statement, the 614km AKK gas pipeline project was awarded at a total contract sum of US$2.592 billion to Messrs. Oilserv Plc/China First Highway Engineering Company (Oilserv/CFHEC Consortium) for the first segment covering 303km.
The president outlined the following as benefits to expect from the project,
1, It will provide gas for generation of power and for gas-based industries which would facilitate the development of new industries.
2, It will ensure the revival of moribund industries along transit towns in Kogi State, Abuja (FCT), Niger State, Kaduna State and Kano State.
3, The cascading effect and impact of the AKK, when operational, will be immeasurable.
4, It has significant job creation potential both direct and indirect.
5, It will foster the development and utilization of local skills and manpower, technology transfer and promotion of local manufacturing.
6, Upon completion, the project would enable the injection of 2.2bscf/d of gas into the domestic market and facilitate additional power generation capacity of 3,600MW.
While enumerating these benefits, Buhari urged NNPC and partners to remain focused, noting that the AKK project is part of the delivery of the present administration’s Next Level Agenda.
The agenda aims for sustainable development, enhancement of economic prosperity and increase of the country’s infrastructure assets.
President Buhari said: ‘‘we promised the Nation that we will expand the critical gas infrastructure in the country to promote the use of gas in the domestic market.
‘‘These include the Escravos to Lagos Pipeline System – 2 (ELPS-2), Obiafu to Obrikom (OB3) pipeline and AKK.
‘‘These projects are fundamental to our desire to industrialize and energize the entrepreneurial spirit that is ever present in our population.’’
Speaking on the impact of COVID-19, Buhari said Nigeria has learnt invaluable lessons from the pandemic, thus birthing the drive of his administration for export substitution initiatives and projects that promote local manufacturing.
On diversification, the President said: ‘‘Gulf countries that have similar levels of gas reserves as Nigeria, have a strategy centered around gas-industrialization as their foundation towards export diversification. This has to be our guiding principle as we seek to attract investment and create opportunities for our people.’’
Furthermore, Buhari challenged the private sector to lead the charge in maximising the nation’s gas resources, noting that the private sector can create a petrochemical hub that will resurrect the manufacturing industry and put the nation on the path to increased self-sufficiency.
‘‘As the world evolves, we owe our people the responsibility to prepare them for what the future holds. We, therefore, must be bold and fearless and can no longer be incremental in our approach.
‘‘Time is short, and our people’s zeal is strong and palpable. Infrastructure development although long, tedious and complex remains a cardinal objective of our Administration’s drive towards ensuring a stable, sustainable and more prosperous future for our citizenry.
‘‘Today marks an important chapter in the history of our great Nation. It marks the day when our domestic natural gas pipeline networks; from Obiafu in Rivers State, Escravos in Delta State and Lekki in Lagos State, are being connected through Kaduna to Kano States thereby enhancing national energy security, creating balanced development, and further integrating our nation,’’ he said.