The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Nasarawa State Government have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on gas utilisation, with a view to delivering value to the people of the state, particularly with the opportunities in the gas sector.
The MoU was signed by the parties during the Nasarawa Gas Business Roundtable, at the late Aliyu Akwe Doma Banquet Hall, in Lafia, on Thursday.
Speaking shortly after the signing ceremony, the Group Managing Director (GMD) of the NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, disclosed that the whole idea about the Federal Government’s gas master plan, is to make sure that the abundant gas resources available in the country, is not only made available to every part of Nigeria but that the country can also earn money from exportation of gas.
The NNPC boss said 90 percent of pipe lines for the AKK gas project, have already been acquired, with the complete pipe lines expected to be delivered in January next year, with enormous progress made laying the pipes from Warri all the way to Kano.
“We know what prosperity gas can bring to our country and that is why government is determined to deliver gas in all corners of the country,” he stated.
Mallam Kyari explained that one of the ways government can deliver gas acroos the country is through the AKK gas pipeline, which will take gas from Ajeokuta all the way to Kano.
According to him, the signing of the MoU became necessary because the AKK will pass through Nasarawa State, which has the advantage to utilize the gas passing through its land, stressing that the NNPC will cooperate with the state government to deliver gas both in the short and long terms through the pipeline.
Speaking as a member of a three-man panel during the gas business roundtable, Nasarawa State governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, said he is looking forward to the state borrowing from what happened in Lagos after the West African gas pipeline was taken from Escravos, to go through Ghana, Togo and other countries.
While noting that Lagos was initially not a factor along the pipeline route, however investors brought up the idea of tapping the pipeline from Shagamu to tee it into Lagos.
The result was that, majority of industries using LFPO all converted to gas, leading to the construction of another line into Lagos.
The governor said he looks forward to Nasarawa State replicating this business idea, to the benefit of the people of the state, so that majority of those industries will be created.
In this regards, Engineer Sule disclosed that his administration is creating several industrial zones across the state, especially around Karu, Panda and Karshi areas.
He noted that unlike in Lagos when the gas pipeline was almost 150 km away, in Nasarawa State, the AKK is merely 20km away.
” I want the people of Nasarawa State to be the actual beneficiaries of this, to initiate the ideas, to go into partnerships, to form the companies,” he said.
Another member of the panel was Bolaji Osunsanya, Chief Executive Officer of Axxela, a gas company, that expended USD500m on gas infrastructure development.
The Nasarawa Gas Business Roundtable was put together by the Gas Aggregation Company Nigeria Limited, Nasarawa State Government, Nasarawa Investment and Development Agency and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, aimed at exploring opportunities in the gas sector.
The roundtable was attended by captains of industry, investors, top government officials, traditional rulers as well as a cross section of the public.