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Minister’s TA, Derefaka gives insights on imports of $2.8bn AKK gas pipeline

Technical Adviser (TA), Gas Business & Policy Implementation to the Honourable Minister of State, Petroleum Resources and Program Manager, Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialization Programme (NGFCP), Mr. Justice Derefaka, has given clear details on the imports of the launched $2.8 billion Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) gas pipeline construction.

Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari, had yesterday, June 30, 2020, flagged off construction activities virtually from the Presidential Villa for the scheme expected to be completed in 2023.

In an interview, Derefaka explained that “The successful flag off of the scheme has further demonstrated the zeal with which the Federal Government through the Ministry of Petroleum Resources is pursuing the proposition of the Minister, Chief Timipre Sylva , which christened 2020 as the year of gas in Nigeria.

“First of all, as the Technical Adviser (TA) on Gas Business & Policy Implementation to the Honourable Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources (MPR), I steer and drive the implementation of the National Gas Policy built on the policy goals of the Federal Government for the gas sector vis-à-vis removing the barriers affecting investment & development of the gas sector; the delivery of critical gas infrastructure, discontinue with a centrally planned national market development and opt for a project-based & market opportunity-led approach as a more effective way to grow gas markets.

“I also superintend the overall vision of the FG to make Nigeria an attractive gas-based industrial nation as well as giving primary attention to meeting local gas demand requirements, developing a significant presence in international markets and to move Nigeria from a crude oil export-based economy to an attractive gas-based industrial economy.

“I also double as the Program Manager (PM) of the Nigeria Gas Flare Commercialization Programme (NGFCP) + AutoLPG in the National Gas Expansion Programme (NGEP) in the office of Honorable Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources (MPR).

On the game-changing AKK Project, it is very important to emphasise that “The project is a 614km-long natural gas pipeline and its economic importance is huge to the nation..

“With over 203 TCF 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 absence of gas transmission pipelines in her bid to harness its abundant gas reserves for provision of gas to generate electricity, and stimulate rapid industrialization using gas as feedstock for fertilisers, ammonia and other petrochemical applications.

“The project with an estimated $2.8bn cost… will result in the establishment of a connecting pipeline network between the eastern, western and northern regions of Nigeria.

“It also aims to create a steady and guaranteed gas supply network between the northern and southern parts of Nigeria by utilising the country’s widely available gas resources.

“The Project will also help reduce the huge quantity of gas flared annually in Nigeria, as well as the subsequent environmental & social impacts.

Giving further insights on the real benefits of AKK pipeline project to the Nigerian economy, Derefaka averred that “The AKK natural gas pipeline is intended to boost Nigeria’s electricity generation capacity, as well as strengthen the industrial sector within the country’s eastern and northern regions. I still need to quickly add that the project is also expected to promote and increase the local usage of domestic gas.

“Additionally, it is anticipated to increase the country’s revenue generation through the export of natural gas,” the senior aide summed.