SWITZERLAND, JULY 1 – The Bank of China and Sinosure, a Chinese export and credit insurance corporation, are to fund the $2.6bn Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano gas pipeline, the Federal Government said on Tuesday.
Also, two Chinese firms will work along with their counterparts in Nigeria to execute the project, which was officially inaugurated virtually by President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday.
Buhari, through a virtual conference, inaugurated the commencement of the construction work on the project at the Ajaokuta and Kaduna campsites simultaneously.
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.
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 said 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 its 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 potential.
Meanwhile, Fidelity Bank Plc has said it will support the $2.8bn Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano gas pipeline project.
A statement from the bank said the project was borne out of the need to boost domestic gas utilisation and reduce the infrastructure deficit in the oil and gas industry.
The bank commended the NNPC and Oilserv and pledge its support to them.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Chief Executive Officer, Fidelity Bank, Mr Nnamdi Okonkwo, said the bank was delighted to be associated with the laudable initiative.