The Federal Government has announced that the Bank of China and Sinosure, a Chinese export and credit insurance corporation, are to fund the $2.6bn Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano gas pipeline.
It was also disclosed that the two Chinese firms would work along with their counterparts in Nigeria to execute the project which was officially flagged off virtually by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The President flagged off the commencement of construction work on the project at the Ajaokuta and Kaduna campsites simultaneously.
The Brentex/China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau-CPP Consortia and Oilserve/China First Highway Engineering Company-CFHEC Consortia were announced as the Engineering Procurement and Construction contractors for the project by the president.
Buhari said the pipeline would provide gas for the generation of power and for gas-based industries to facilitate the development of new industries.
He said the project would ensure the revival of moribund industries along transit towns in Kogi, Abuja, Niger, Kaduna, and Kano states.
“It has significant job creation potential, both direct and indirect while fostering the development and utilisation of local skills and manpower, technology transfer and promotion of local manufacturing,” the President stated.
He stated that the government was committed to ensuring timely delivery of the AKK gas pipeline project within budgetary allocation and specifications.
He ordered the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and partners to remain focused, as the project would increase the country’s infrastructure assets.
The President appealed to the governors of Kogi, Niger, Kaduna and Kano states as well as the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory to provide the required support for the project.
The Technical Adviser on Gas Business and Policy Implementation to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Justice Derefaka, explained that with the AKK project, Nigeria would unlock its natural gas potentials.
He said, “With over 203 trillion standard cubic feet of proven natural gas, Nigeria is finally on the verge of unlocking huge economic benefits arising from its natural gas endowment.
“For many years, the country had been hindered by the absence of gas transmission pipelines in its bid to harness its abundant gas reserves for provision of gas to generate electricity and stimulate rapid industrialisation using gas as feedstock.”