Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has disclosed that the Federal Government will soon kickstart the construction of the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AAK) gas pipeline.
According to a statement by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, Buhari made the disclosure in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, while addressing the 5th Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) Summit on Friday.
The President who described the theme of the Summit, “Natural Gas – Energy for Sustainable Development” as most appropriate, informed the audience that Nigeria has led the way in the construction of the West Africa Gas Pipeline which runs through four West African countries.
The 600-kilometre AAK gas pipeline which forms phase one of the Trans-Nigeria Gas Pipeline (TNGP) project, is designed to enable gas connectivity between the east, west and north.
According to the President, the viability of extending the gas pipeline system across the Sahara to Algeria in North Africa is still under consideration.
“We are mindful of the energy deficit in the developing world especially, here in Africa where we have nearly 600 million people without access to modern energy. As responsible leaders, it is our duty to preserve the environment not only for the present but for future generations.
“We can achieve this balance between our energy deficit and environmental preservation needs by developing and deploying new technologies. Although classified as fossil fuel, natural gas is a viable solution to both our energy and environmental challenges.
“Natural gas has the added advantage of availability and affordability. To fully leverage this potential, nations need to pool resources to put up trans-border and trans-regional energy infrastructure.
“The Paris Accord of 2015 signalled the first major global commitment to a deliberate effort on this inevitable transition.
“Nigeria is proud to be one of the first signatories to the historic Agreement. We in Nigeria have led the way by the construction of the West Africa Gas Pipeline which runs through four West African countries.”
The President noted that the one-day meeting was “taking place at a critical juncture as global energy supply is transitioning from hydrocarbons to renewables.”
According to him, “The Paris Accord of 2015 signalled the first major global commitment to a deliberate effort on this inevitable transition,” stressing that “Nigeria is proud to be one of the first signatories” to the historic Agreement.
President Buhari also commended the foresight of the founding fathers of the GECF “in promoting natural gas in the global energy mix.”
Declaring the Summit open, the host, President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, called on members of the GECF to continue to work in harmony towards the realisation of the objectives of the multinational organisation.