The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has said it will commence the construction of the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano gas pipeline in the second quarter of this year.
The Group Managing Director, NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, who disclosed this in Lagos, said the construction of the pipeline would serve as an enabler to further boost economic activities in the country.
Kyari said the corporation would aggressively expand its domestic gas footprint with the delivery of the Escravos-Lagos Pipeline System II and the OB3 gas pipeline to connect the East and the West.
According to the NNPC, the capacity of the ELPS will be doubled from 1.1 billion standard cubic feet of gas to 2.2 billion scf.
The NNPC GMD spoke at the fourth 4th Sub-Saharan Africa International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference in Lagos on Wednesday, with the theme, ‘Oil and gas as an enabler for economic transformation in sub-Saharan Africa’.
Represented by the Chief Operating Officer, Gas and Power, Mr Yusuf Usman, he said the recent passage of the Deep Offshore Act into law had set the industry on the path of irreversible growth.
He stated that Nigeria as Africa’s leading exporter of Liquefied Natural Gas and the fourth in the world after Qatar, Australia and Malaysia, was ready to capture more LNG market with the Final Investment Decision of the NLNG Train 7.
“Oil and gas resources have remained the major source of revenue that has kept the wheels of Nigeria moving for over five decades.
Oil, as we all know, has served as key enabler to the economic transformation of many nations like Norway, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar and many other oil resources- dependent nations,” Kyari said.
According to him, it is not a new story that most resource-dependent nations rely on their dominant natural resource to drive other key economic initiatives and activities and this is true of Nigeria and many other countries.
He said the connection between the oil and gas industry and the Nigerian economy was intricate, adding that the state of every aspect of the nation’s economic and social life revolved around the hydrocarbon resource.
Kyari called for more hard work to diversify the economy and halt the overdependence on oil revenues in order to avoid the risk of market fluctuations that may impact the nation’s fiscal equation.
He said the current government-led by President Muhammadu Buhari, had “made it a priority to ensure revenues from oil and gas resources are utilised to support the emergence and growth of other non-oil sectors of the economy.”
“In order to achieve this objective, it means more money will be required from oil and gas to fund new economic projects outside the oil and gas industry,” he added.
Kyari said the NNPC, as a national oil company, had been repositioned to support the vision of the President for economic diversification.
He said the corporation targeted increasing oil production from 2.3 million barrels per day to three million bpd and at the same time, working with partners to significantly reduce cost per barrel in order to improve the flow of the needed revenue to support economic diversification.
He said the NNPC was encouraging private investors to join the train that traverses the oil and gas value chain to create more value and job opportunities for the nation’s teaming youths.
According to the NNPC boss, Nigeria is still a net importer of petroleum products due to the current state of NNPC refineries and the long absence of private investment in the refining sector.
He said the NNPC was inviting investors to key into the revamp and expansion of domestic refining capacity in order to support the growth of the downstream sector and guaranty energy security for the nation.
Kyari added, “We are progressing with the establishment of condensate refineries to fast-track domestic supply of petroleum products.
“In the same vein, the corporation would support the actualisation of the 650,000bpd Dangote refinery, as well as other private initiatives along this line.
“Our plan is for Nigeria to become a net exporter of petroleum products by 2023.” He said the NNPC was leveraging technology and innovation to achieve the goal of building an energy company of global excellence.
The GMD implored all stakeholders to collaborate with the corporation in an atmosphere that is beneficial to all and emplaces Nigeria on the path of growth and development.