The Nigerian National Petroleum firm (NNPC)’s Group Managing Director, Mele Kyari, has denied accusations that the firm failed to release cash for the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) Gas Pipeline project.
Kyari acknowledged that the NNPC had released more than $1.1 billion for the project, which aims to provide a consistent supply of natural gas to power plants and industries throughout Nigeria. The project is intended to cover a distance of 614 kilometres, beginning in Ajaokuta, Kogi State, and ending in Kano State.
Kyari denied rumours that the project had stalled due to a shortage of funds for its second and third phases in a statement issued while surveying one of the project sites in Ahoko, Kogi State:
“For the benefit of the Nigerian public, this is one of the most massive project that we’ll run in the company, it is of immense proportion of value to our country and to the socio-economic growth of our country.
“We know that this is a must deliver project. This project has not stopped for one day. We have continued to fund it despite the fact that we do not have third-party financing for the project.
The project is being developed in three phases, with the first phase being the construction of a 200 km-long section between Ajaokuta and Abuja. The second phase will cover the Abuja-Kaduna section, while the third phase will complete the pipeline’s construction by extending it from Kaduna to Kano.
Kyari emphasized the NNPC’s capacity and readiness to meet all financial obligations due to the importance of the project, saying: “We have so far spent over $1.1bn on this project from our cashflow. We are a very different company today. We are a commercial company. We have inter-company laws within our company now. This company can fund this project, so we do not need any support on this project to deliver this project now.
“As we speak now, we don’t owe a dollar to our contractors today. We paid all their invoices, there are over 30 sites that are active today in this project, and we are very hopeful that we will deliver this project.”
The AKK Gas Pipeline project is expected to boost Nigeria’s economic growth by increasing the availability of natural gas for electricity generation and industrial use. It is also expected to create thousands of job opportunities during the construction phase and afterward.
It is essential to note that the AKK Gas Pipeline project is one of several infrastructure development projects that the Nigerian government is currently undertaking to stimulate economic growth and development in the country. With the release of funds for the project, it is expected that the AKK Gas Pipeline project will soon become a reality, benefiting millions of Nigerians in the process.
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