President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday said the Federal Government would soon begin the construction of the 600-kilometre Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano gas pipeline, in a bid to foster the movement of gas from the southern part of the country to the north.
Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity affirmed that Buhari said this while addressing the 5th Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) Summit which was held at the Sipopo International Conference Hall, Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.
The President added that the viability of extending the gas pipeline to North Africa was also under consideration.
“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. As responsible leaders, it is our duty to preserve the environment not only for the present but for future generations,” he said on why Nigeria and GECF members are focusing on gas development.
“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,” he added.
Buhari also stated that “natural gas has the added advantage of availability and affordability,” noting that “to fully leverage this potential, nations need to pool resources to put up trans-border and trans-regional energy infrastructure”.
“We in Nigeria have led the way by the construction of the West Africa Gas Pipeline which runs through four West African countries,” he noted.
However, he described the theme of the Summit: Natural Gas – Energy for Sustainable Development as most appropriate, noting that the one-day meeting was “taking place at a critical juncture as global energy supply is transitioning from hydrocarbons to renewables.”
He also commended the foresight of the founding fathers of the GECF in promoting natural gas in the global energy mix.