New Telegraph

FG reaffirms $2.8bn gas project launch in 24 months

Investment to boost power supply -Kyari

Plans to conclude the Ajaokuta-Kaduna Kano (AKK) gas to power pipelines by November 2023 have been reaffirmed by the Federal Govetnment. Giving a hint to this effect in Lagos, the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Mele Kolo Kyari, said the project would be completed in the next 24 months, which is precisely the set day in 2023. Coming on the heels of the decision by the Federal Government to declare years 2021-2030, as Decade of Gas in Nigeria, Kyari expressed government’s desires to prepare the country for more production and utilisation of gas resources. Speaking at the 2021 edition of Nigerian Association of Energy Correspondents (NAEC), in Lagos, Kyari said Nigeria was energy deficient as less than 30 per cent of the population are not electrified.

“They do not have access to electricity and the country hopes to make use of abundant gas reserves to improve power supply in the country,” he noted. Kyari had on several occasions reassured that the project would be delivered as scheduled. While responding to allegations that Chinese funding for the project had dried up and that the Federal Government was frantically looking for new source of funding the $2.8billion pipeline contracts, Kyari described the allegations as spurious and baseless, claiming that the government would deliver the project as promised. Findings by New Telegraph had revealed stakeholders expressing displeasure over the issue, claiming that the project may not come to fruition as early as promised by the government. Reasons, they said, were borne out of the bad economic situation and attendant poor liquidity in the country.

Coupled with this are problems such as indecision among the operators of the project and insecurity in the country among others. Those who spoke to New Telegraph on the issue affirmed that Nigeria was currently overwhelmed with problems and may not be able to complete the AKK infrastructure in time. A former Country’s President, Association of International Energy Economists( AIEA), Prof Wunmi Iledare, urged Nigerians to change the ways and manners, in which they perceive public projects, arguing that until citizens change their mindset, many of such projects would not come to life.

He said many believe that the AKK project belonged to northern Nigeria only, due to its location. Iledare, a Professor of Petroleum Economics and Energy Research, said negative perception was killing and capable of stalling any public spirited projects, which the government is embarking upon.

He noted that the country had some gas projects being put in place to minimise problems facing the energy sector, especially generation, but were killed, arguing that AKK project might follow similar trend. Similarly, a stakeholder, who does not want to be mentioned, said the government was wasting its time, as its does not have resources to finance the project. He added that foreign banks and other lending institutions were not ready to expose themselves further on such projects. He described Nigeria as a high risk zone to invest on due to the fact that the country grapples with activities of insurgent groups. It would be recalled that President Muhammad Buhari launched the AKK gas- power pipeline in 2020,

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