Federal Government has commissioned $2.5 billion Ajaokuta -Kaduna-Kano, AKK, Gas Pipeline Project to expand gas production and domestic usage.

At the virtual presidential flag-off ceremony of the project on Tuesday, President Muhammadu Buhari said the gas pipeline project has been in focus for quite sometime, stressing that by its flag-off, the process of its reality had finally commenced.

President Buhari stressed that the importance of the gas project could not be over emphasised, stating that the project was to develop a landmark project at this critical time to increase Nigeria’s infrastructural assets.

“We promised the Nation that we will expand the critical gas infrastructure in the country to promote the use of gas in the domestic market. These include the Escravos to Lagos Pipeline System–2, ELPS-2, Obiafu to Obrikom-3 pipeline and AKK. These projects are fundamental to our desire to industrialise and energise the entrepreneurial spirit that is ever present in our population. Hence, I had directed NNPC to ensure that these milestone projects are completed on time, within budgetary allocation and as per specifications,” he said.

He noted that the AKK Gas Pipeline Project would provide gas for generation of power and for gas-based industries which would facilitate the development of new industries and also revive some moribund companies along transit towns in Kogi State, Abuja, Niger State, Kaduna State and Kano State.

“When operational, the cascading effect and impact of the project will be immeasurable. 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 project is therefore part of the delivery of our Next Level agenda,” the president further said.

In his remarks, managing director and chief executive officer, Fidelity Bank Plc, Mr. Nnamdi Okoh said management of the bank was proud to be associated with this laudable project.

Okoh, who was represented by the executive director (North), Mr. Hassan Immam, explained that the management was very happy to support their customer, Oil Serve Limited which is the contractor of the project.

He noted the project cost about $2.5 billion, adding that the project was actually under the federal government’s master plan aimed at achieving two critical objectives – to boost the gas supply and to upturn the infrastructural deficits in Nigeria oil and gas sector .

“More importantly, to ensure adequate supply of gas to the northern part of the country, to equally improve domestic gas usage; and finally, to boost power generation .This is very important for Nigeria and Nigerians as a whole. That is why we are partner in this gigantic project,” he stated

Also, the managing director of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari commended President Buhari for the commencement of the project which had been in the pipeline before now.

Kyari explained that the construction of the phase of Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano would create enabling environment for development, besides the capacity to deliver and create opportunity for the growth of other industries in the country.