Uche Usim, Abuja
Barring unforeseen circumstances, President Muhammadu Buhari will on June 30 flag-off the construction of the $2.8 billion Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) gas pipeline.
The project is a 614km-long natural gas pipeline currently being developed by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Mr. Timipre Sylva, made the disclosure in Abuja on Tuesday while inaugurating a committee on Gas Sector-Wide Review of the Domestic Gas pricing Framework, with the responsibility of evaluating and reviewing the price of gas in the country.
The minister underscored the need for an appropriate price regime that will be beneficial to the manufacturing industry, Nigerians, and the gas sector at large.
‘Without appropriate pricing, we can’t get it right. We have to ensure that gas becomes affordable. It is sad to note that we sell gas cheaply to investors while the price is high in the domestic market to the extent that some Nigerians say diesel is cheaper than gas,’ Sylva said.
The minister noted that Nigeria has a lot of gas deposits and that it is crucial that the country solve its energy problems.
Addressing members of the committee, the minister said the committee was deliberately enlarged and structured to accommodate people with diverse opinions, dedication, and commitment.
He listed the terms of reference of the committee to include the review of domestic gas price and benchmark; to make recommendations for appropriate gas prices for the respective gas sectors; and to make evaluations, and technical suggestions.
The committee has been given thirty days to submit its report.
The Chairman of the committee, Engr, Yusuf Usman, who spoke on behalf of its members, expressed delight at the privilege given to serve, pledging to deliver in line with their mandate and in record time. He assured the minister that the committee will evaluate the price of gas in line with global standards.