AKK Gas Pipeline Project; Boosting Economic Benefits for Nigeria


By Abdullahi Musa (abdullahimusa849@yahoo.com)

The Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) gas pipeline project is nearing completion, with significant economic benefits expected for Nigeria.

The AKK gas pipeline is a 40-inch, 614-kilometer linear pipeline system running from Ajaokuta to Kano. It includes associated intermediate and terminal gas facilities, as well as all other related equipment necessary for transporting natural gas to off-takers at Abuja, Kaduna, and Kano. The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd) aims to expand the existing gas pipeline network within Nigeria in response to the increasing demand for power and the need for gas-based industries.

A site inspection tour was conducted by an inter-ministerial team, which included Mohammed Idris, the Minister of Information and National Orientation; Wale Edun, the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy; Ekperikpe Ekpo, the Minister of State, Gas Resources; Dr. Hadiza Balarabe, the Deputy Governor of Kaduna State; and Malam Mele Kyari, the Group CEO of NNPCL. The tour took place at the Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) River Kaduna crossing, segment 2 of the AKK Gas Pipeline, which is being handled by the Brentex CPP consortium in Kaduna State.

The increased gas supply is expected to revitalize industries in the northern parts of the country, creating jobs and stimulating economic activity, as well as reducing gas flaring.

The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, described the gigantic project as a noble one while speaking at the drilling site of the River Kaduna crossing of the project.

“This project is a marvel,” Minister Idris said. “We should all be incredibly proud of what is being accomplished here.” The Minister emphasized the progress of the project, which is aimed to be completed by the first quarter of 2025, or possibly even earlier. He praised the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL) for its efficiency, citing the recent early completion of three gas projects in southern Nigeria.

“This shows that it is possible to set ambitious timelines and surpass them in our country,” the minister stated.

He mentioned that the AKK pipeline is anticipated to revive dormant industries along the corridor from Ajaokuta to Kano. Minister Idris highlighted that this economic revitalization is an integral part of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s vision for prosperity.

“These revived industries will enhance the economic situation for many Nigerians in the region,” he explained. “This, in turn, can contribute to a non-kinetic approach to addressing insecurity.”

The minister highlighted President Tinubu’s commitment to completing ongoing projects, particularly those with significant national benefits. This marks a departure from past practices of abandoning projects during leadership changes.

The Minister emphasized Nigeria’s potential as a significant gas producer, in addition to its established petroleum industry. He emphasized the importance of not only finishing projects but also promoting a culture of reorientation towards proper maintenance to ensure their long-term success.

The Minister for Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy reaffirmed President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s unwavering commitment to the completion of the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) Gas Pipeline Project during the visit.

President Tinubu has directed that this project must be delivered unconditionally,” he declared. “The federal government will provide everything necessary to ensure its successful completion by the first quarter of 2025. This project aligns perfectly with the President’s strategy for economic growth.

The Minister praised the “impressive skill, determination, and capability” of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPCL), in partnership with Chinese and Nigerian collaborators, for completing this crucial infrastructure project.

“The AKK pipeline is a gas-to-power project,” Minister Edun elaborated. “It will deliver gas for power generation, industries, and even agriculture. Ultimately, it will create significant employment opportunities for Nigerians.” The pipeline spans a massive 614 kilometers from Ajaokuta to Kano and embodies President Tinubu’s strategy to revitalize the Nigerian economy.

“I commend NNPC, the Brentex CPP LTD, and all stakeholders who have brought this project this far,” the minister stated. “I am confident, as is the President, that the project will be delivered on time by the 1st quarter of 2025. The entire team deserves our praise for bringing this project so close to the finish line. Their success should inspire all Nigerians to have confidence in our abilities to undertake and complete major projects, attracting partners to propel economic growth and job creation,” the Minister said.

In his speech, the Minister of State for Gas Resources, Mr. Ekperikpe Ekpo, emphasized that the project is a crucial initiative for Nigeria’s economic development. This project is expected to create job opportunities, increase revenue generation, and further bolster the national economy. Additionally, it will contribute to the reduction of gas flaring by providing essential gas infrastructure, promoting environmental protection, and enhancing energy security for Nigeria.

The Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe, expressed the eagerness of Kaduna State on the potential benefits of the project.

“We are thrilled to see this project extend through Kaduna State. A significant section of the pipeline crosses our borders, and its positive impact will be considerable.”

She pointed to the Kakuri Industrial Area in Kaduna metropolis, stating, “Look around these factories. The AKK pipeline will breathe new life into these crucial textile industries and countless others. We are confident that Kaduna will be revitalized by this project.”

The highly enthusiastic Group CEO of the NNPCL, Malam Mele Kyari, provided an update on the project, stating, “We have made significant progress on this project and are nearing completion. We aim to deliver up to 2.2 billion standard cubic feet of gas through the pipeline. We are aware that our current consumption capacity does not align with this volume, so we are expanding our capacity. We are also working on various connections related to this project. It’s important to note that a key aspect of the Ajaokuta Kaduna Kano Gas Pipeline (AKK) project is the completion of the River Niger crossing, which will ensure a reliable supply to this pipeline. Additionally, we anticipate that the project will be fully operational by the first quarter of 2025.”

Mr. Howard Wang, the Chairman of Brentex CPP Ltd (BCL), provided an update on the progress of the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) Gas Pipeline Project. He stated that the consortium has completed 98.54% (315km) of the linear construction works during the active three-year construction period.

The consortium has completed 100% of the Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) crossings for both the Shika River in Kaduna State and the Hadejia River in Kano State. Furthermore, they have made over 51% progress on the Kaduna HDD River crossing.

The BCL has fostered significant participation from the local communities by engaging over 51 local subcontractors at all project levels. The project has also directly employed more than 1,925 skilled and semi-skilled Nigerian workers.

He emphasized that the BCL is dedicated to improving the skills of the Nigerian workforce. The consortium has hired, trained, certified, and employed 674 Nigerians in 29 various oil and gas pipeline construction disciplines. Notably, 339 of these individuals are from the project’s local communities. In its communities, the BCL has maintained positive and collaborative relationships with over 240 local communities situated along the pipeline’s right of way.

In terms of safety, the project has achieved an exceptional safety record, accumulating a total of 11.2 million man-hours with only one Lost Time Incident (LTI) reported in March 2024.

Mr. Wang expressed gratitude for the unwavering support of the Federal Government of Nigeria, led by NNPC Ltd. He also emphasized the numerous challenges faced during construction, such as weather fluctuations, the COVID-19 pandemic, security concerns, and global price escalations. Mr. Wang commended the resilience and dedication of the BCL team for successfully navigating these obstacles and delivering the AKK Pipeline construction segment.

The near completion of the AKK gas pipeline project is a significant step toward economic growth and development, especially in AKK corridors and the country as a whole.

Abdullahi Musa writes from Abuja