Hon. Minister of State for Petroleum Resources,
Federal Republic of Nigeria
KEYNOTE ADDRESS AND AKK FORUM REMARKS TO THE 2021 GAS SECTOR STAKEHOLDERS’ FORUM
1. On behalf of the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Honourable Minister of Petroleum Resources, His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, I am happy to welcome you all to this event, the 2021 Gas Sector Stakeholders’ Forum themed: Optimizing the Economic Development Capacity of the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano “AKK” Gas Pipeline Project.
2. This Forum is yet another demonstration of the Federal Government’s total commitment to the realization of the objectives underpinning the “Decade of Gas” declaration.
3. You may recall that GACN in 2020 organized a similar engagement in Owerri, Imo State aimed at market sensitization and harnessing of gas utilization/ commercialization opportunities within the South Eastern region. That event brought much awakening to the region, leading to increased collaboration between the private sector, respective state governments and relevant agencies for gas commercialization towards meeting identified energy demands in the area.
4. The lens is today focused at facilitating increased gas penetration in the northern part of this great country, especially the AKK pipeline corridor of FCT, Kano, Kaduna, Kogi, Niger, Nasarawa and other neighbouring states. Therefore, this Gas Sector Opportunities’ Forum is geared towards sensitizing the entire northern part of Nigeria of the upcoming opportunities to bring both new and hitherto moribund companies to life.
5. Kano State alone is dotted with several industrial parks such as:
a) Challawa Industrial Estate that houses – Rice Mills, Beverages, Jute Bags Manufacturing, Plastic Products manufacturing, etc.
b) Sharada Industrial Estate, Phases 1, 2 and 3 dealing with Hides and Skin, Textile mills, Foundry and steel rolling mills, Vegetable oil Mills, Plastic pipe extruding plants, Afro sacks plants, etc.
c) Bompai Industrial Estate accommodating Flour mills, Mattress production, Animal feeds plant, etc.
6. These parks and others that dot the Kano, Kaduna and other AKK corridor states justify the need to optimise value creation from these industries. Experts estimate that it would take at least 2-3 years to rehabilitate and position these industries for optimal performance. Thus, today’s collaboration with all stakeholders is geared towards kick-starting the required activities that would guarantee full usage of the delivered gas through the AKK pipeline when completed.
7. Today’s event reinforces our commitment to realising the inherent potentials of gas usage as a national catalyst for achieving economic diversification from crude oil and as transition fuel from fossil of today to the renewable energy of tomorrow. It is this commitment that informed our support and eventual commissioning of two (2) gas-powered plants (virtual pipeline operated) in Kano City in December 2020, achieving the uninterrupted delivery of over 30 Mega Watts power supply to the industrial hubs.
8. Our successful collaboration and the completion of the AKK in 2023 will significantly enhance Mr. President’s vision and current drive for increased domestic gas utilization as the mainstay for national industrialization, increased foreign investment, government revenue growth and ultimately provide more job opportunities for Nigerians. The National Gas Expansion Programme which was launched in January 2020 is the flagship programme that is focused on ensuring that all these objectives are achieved and that the gains emanating therefrom are sustained.
9. Let me use this medium to announce to this gathering that following the successful negotiation between the FGN and the Organized Labour Unions, and the detailed review of the gas pricing framework in Nigeria, the price of gas-to-power has been reduced from $2.50/mmbtu to $2.18/mmbtu (domestic supply obligation – DSO) with immediate effect. The outcome of the negotiations and review have been communicated to the relevant stakeholders.
10. On behalf of Mr. President, who is committed to completing the AKK project by 2023, I thank you all for participating in this Northern Forum. I must also appreciate the Management of NNPC, DPR and GACN for their consistent support to gas development in Nigeria. Our sincere appreciation also goes to our host – the Governor of Kano State – for ensuring that this event is a success even amidst the current COVID-19 challenges.
11. My charge to all participants and stakeholders is that you ensure active engagement and cooperation that will guarantee the realisation of the objectives of this laudable Forum, leading to practical solutions that enable the success of the National Gas Expansion Programme.
12. On this note, it is my pleasure to declare the Northern Gas Sector Stakeholders’ Forum open.
13. Thank you and may God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria!