President Muhammadu Buhari, in company of Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State and his Kaduna counterpart, Nasir El- Rufai , as well as the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources , Timipre Sylva , yesterday inaugurated the 614-kilometre Ajaokuta- Kaduna – Kano (AKK ) gas pipeline to tackle Nigeria ’ s critical economic problems .
During the virtual ceremony in Abuja , Buhari pointed out that the $ 2 . 8 billion ( about N1 . 1 trillion ) project , to be financed by a Chinese loan , would boost the nation ’ s energy capacity by nearly 4000 megawatts and generate over three million jobs .
He added that the undertaking would upscale domestic gas utilisation, uplift the textile industry , as well as address agricultural hiccups through the fertiliser and petrochemical sub- sector .
The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR ) had said the country ’ s gas reserves as at January 1 , 2020 , were 203. 16 trillion cubic feet ( TCF) .
Being a component of the Trans – Nigeria Gas Pipeline (TNGP), with capacity to transport about 2 . 2 billion cubic feet of the product daily , the President charged the Kogi , Kaduna and FCT administrations to ensure the project was delivered within its two – year timeline.
His words : “ 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 – Lagos Pipeline System – 2 (ELPS- 2 ); Obiafu – Obrikom ( OB3 ) pipeline ; and the AKK .
“These projects are fundamental to our desire to industrialise and energise the entrepreneurial spirit that is ever- present in our population. ”
In his remarks, Sylva said the move would open up industrial activities in the northern corridor , adding : “We expect that in this corridor , a lot of investments will commence like fertiliser projects , gas industry , petrochemical , power plants and others . ”
“On the part of this project , power plants will be built in Abuja and Kano , ” he stated.
Also speaking, Group Managing Director (GMD ) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC ), Mele Kyari, clarified that the project , to be constructed by two groups , Brentex/ China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau – CPP Consortia ; and Oilserve / China First Highway Engineering Company -CFHEC Consortia ; would connect the northern region with others.
“NNPC is thus transitioning towards becoming an integrated energy company to support Mr . President ’ s economic diversification efforts , ” the GMD submitted .