From Uche Usim, Abuja
Executive Chairman, Oilserv Limited, Mr Emeka Okwuosa, has revealed that work on the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano pipeline project was already 10% gone, assuring that the company would not fail in delivering the project by 2023 as designed by the Federal Government.
Speaking at a recent inspection visit to the project site in Ajaokuta, Okwuosa stated that the local content rule was strictly adhered to as the bulk of the design, fabrication and engineering works were handled locally.
“For the line pipes, based on the fact that the loans are obtained from China, the line pipes have to be from China. Apart from that, every other thing comes from Nigeria.
“The things we buy overseas are things we cannot manufacture here. We are abiding by the local content law, the materials and vehicles inclusive. So clearly, local content is exemplified here”, he said.
Okwuosa added that the Ajaokuta segment of the contract, which his company is handling, has achieved almost 15km of pipeline welding and laying.
He pointed out that the company has developed and shown capacity for 25 years, even as he extolled the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for its support to the company.
“This project will be delivered on schedule and of good quality. We deploy local hands and resources. We employ people in host communities and use them as sub-contractors. That’s part of our safety and security blueprint.
“We also do a scan to know what the issues are and based on that we deploy the right security. We are working in the middle of the bush and we don’t have any problem and we are doing what is necessary. The major aspect of that security is being in tandem with the community and work closely with the community and that is the first line of security”, he explained.
On fears of exchange rate fluctuations disrupting the project, the Oilserv boss ruled out such an occurrence, emphasising that the project is an international undertaking.
“In as much we are conducting it in Nigeria, it is not susceptible to naira fluctuations. It is denominated in US dollars. So we don’t have any mismatch with dollar and naira”.
He added that the AKK pipeline flaunts all the attributes of industrial stimulus, adding that the manufacturing capacity will experience a boost once the project is operational.
Okwuosa reckoned that the AKK pipeline holds potential to feed power plants with adequate fuel energy to generate adequate electricity for homes and businesses.
The pipeline, he added, can also directly feed industry and commerce with cleaner, cheaper gas energy.
“In both ways the AKK pipeline is going to enable the industrial sector of the economy optimize its potential for growth, job creation and contribution to gross domestic product (GDP)”.
Earlier in his remarks, the NNPC GMD, Mr Mele Kyari said that all the necessary parts needed for the project were always delivered as requested.
“I’m glad to state here that this project has ot suffered delay for one day. Everything is going as planned. Parts for this project are arriving on time. We’re moving them by road. We fear no delays and we will deliver on schedule”, he said.