President Muhammadu Buhari says the Federal Government will soon commence the construction of the 600-kilometre Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano gas pipeline.
Addressing the 5th Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) Summit on Friday in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, he noted that the project would ease the movement of gas from the Southern part of the country to the North.
The President disclosed that the viability of extending the gas pipeline to North Africa was also under consideration.
He described the theme of the Summit, ‘Natural Gas – Energy for Sustainable Development’ as most appropriate, saying the one-day meeting was “taking place at a critical juncture as global energy supply is transitioning from hydrocarbons to renewables.”
The Energy Deficit
“The Paris Accord of 2015 signalled the first major global commitment to a deliberate effort on this inevitable transition,” President Buhari said, stressing that “Nigeria is proud to be one of the first signatories” to the historic agreement.
He further explained why Nigeria and GECF members were focusing on gas development.
“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,” the President was quoted as saying in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.
He added, “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.”
President Buhari noted further that “natural gas has the added advantage of availability and affordability,” stressing that, “to fully leverage this potential, nations need to pool resources to put up trans-border and trans-regional energy infrastructure.”
According to him, Nigeria has led the way by the construction of the West Africa Gas Pipeline which runs through four West African countries.
The President commended the foresight of the founding fathers of the GECF in promoting natural gas in the global energy mix.
The summit was declared open by the host and Equatorial Guinea’s President, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo.
President Mbasogo, in his remarks, called on members of the GECF to continue to work in harmony towards the realisation of the objectives of the multinational organisation.