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Barely less than three months the Minister of Transportation, Chief Rotimi Amaechi, ‘begged’ the government and people of Niger Republic to be given free construction standard gauge rail line from Nigeria to their major city of Maradi, instead of reciprocating by routing their crude oil export pipeline through Nigeria, Niger Republic went through Benin Republic.
The China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), now known as China Petroleum Pipeline Engineering Co. Ltd. (CPP), has commenced works on the construction of a 1,980km, 20-inch-diameter pipeline that will carry crude from the Agadem Rift Basin (ARB) fields in Niger Republic to the Republic of Benin’s Atlantic oil terminal in Sèmè-Kraké port.
The pipeline construction which, according to partners, had been held up for months by the coronavirus pandemic is expected to increase Niger’s oil production from the current 20,000 barrels a day to 120,000 barrels a day after the completion of the pipeline in 2024.
Known as the Niger-Benin Export Pipeline (NBEP), the pipeline, valued at $7 billion, which was launched by the Niger and Benin governments last month, will run from Agadem in Niger to the Republic of Benin.
There are strong indications that Nigeria has lost out on the huge economic gains that would have accrued to the country and its teeming citizens from the multi-billion dollar crude oil pipeline with the government of Niger Republic and the Chinese government.
Reliable source averred that the crude oil export pipeline project, which is now planned to run from Niger Republic to Port Seme on the Atlantic coast in Benin, was originally planned with the Nigerian government.
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