• Thursday, July 25, 2024
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FG approves $2.5bn funding for AKK pipeline as Oilserv completes 10% construction

Finance minister calls for intensified efforts to boost revenue

The Federal Government on Tuesday disclosed that the $2.5 billion loan required for the development of Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) pipeline has been approved for disbursement.

Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, who disclosed this during an inspection of the project in Ajaokuta, Kogi State, along with the Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, expressed satisfaction over the progress being made on the contract as Oilserv says over 10 percent of the project has already been completed.

The project which was flagged off by President Muhammadu Buhari earlier this year is being executed in part by Oilserv, an indigenous pipeline and engineering firm, aiming to drastically further the narrative on local content in the country.

Ahmed said the government had met its funding obligations on the project.

“We have to give a sovereign guarantee to the lender so that the loan is concluded. I am glad to say the loan has been concluded. And very soon the disbursement will start to the contractor. For now it is $2.5 billion,” she said.

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“We are glad that gas is being piped across the country,” Ahmed said, stressing further that the development would help to revive industries across the country.

Kyari commended Oilserv, stressing that he was satisfied with the progress and quality of work done by the contractor.

“We’ll complete this project on time and on schedule. we’ll deliver this project. So we really have no issues around it,” he said.

Chairman of Oilserv, Emeka Okwuosa, said over 10 percent of the project has been completed as the first phase of the pipeline spanning over 13 kilometres has been paid.

According to him, nearly 100 percent of the people working on the project as well as other materials were sourced locally, stressing that the implementation of the project exceeds extant local content threshold.

“Over here we employ locals as we move to the community and empower them as sub-contractors and is a testimony to the development of local content,” he said.

While most Chinese-funded projects are usually executed by foreign firms from China, Okwuosa said Oilserv has deployed the most sophisticated technology as a representation of local capacity.

“The things we have to buy overseas, of course, are things we cannot manufacture here. We are abiding by it, the materials and vehicles are from here. Most of our vehicles are from Innoson. So clearly local content is exemplified.

“For the line pipes base on the fact that the loans are obtained from China, the line pipes have to be from China apart from that every other thing comes from Nigeria,” Okwuosa stated.