The mandate of Gas Aggregation Company Nigeria Limited (“GACN”) as spelt out in the 2008 National Gas Supply and Pricing Policy is to drive gas commercialization within the domestic market in the pursuit of a sustainable National economic growth path. To this end, GACN organized the 2021 gas sector stakeholders’ forum themed “Optimizing the Economic Development Capacity of the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (“AKK”’ Gas Pipeline Project” on 28th and 29th July, 2021(“the Forum”) at the Afficent Event Center, Kano, Kano State, with the objective of sensitizing the business community in the AKK host States and potential investors on the economic benefits of the AKK pipeline while also presenting interim (virtual) gas supply solutions pending the completion of the AKK pipeline.
The Forum recorded a remarkable attendance with a cumulative attendance (physical and virtual) of over a thousand (1000) participants, and with high-profile representations from the Federal Government, the AKK State Governments, gas producers, transporters, offtakers (power producers, LDCs, GBIs, mini-LNG, etc.), financiers, among others.
In his welcome address, the chairman of the Board of GACN, Engr. Mansur Sambo emphasized that the AKK Pipeline is poised to restore the vibrancy of the industrial sector and stir commercial activities in the North especially in Kano state.
While declaring the Forum open, President Muhammadu Buhari who was represented by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva noted that the AKK Forum is geared towards sensitizing the northern part of Nigeria about the economic benefits of the AKK Pipeline. He noted that the commissioning of the AKK Pipeline will come with various economic opportunities including revamping of moribund industries within the AKK states and other states around the corridors of the AKK Pipeline. Notably, he seized the opportunity to announce the reduction of the price of gas-to-power from $2.50|Mscf to $2.18|Mscf with immediate effect. He added that, with the downward review in gas pricing to the power sector, Nigeria may henceforth experience improvement in electricity supply.
In his keynote address, the Group Managing Director (“GMD”) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (“NNPC”), Mallam Mele Kolo Kyari emphasized the significance of gas to the economic growth of the AKK States and the Nation at large. He further assured the Nation that the Federal Government of Nigeria (“FGN”) and NNPC are working assiduously to ensure the completion and commissioning of the pipeline within the project completion timeline of 2023.
While delivering his goodwill message, the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, commended the FGN for the progress made towards the completion of the AKK Pipeline. He noted that the AKK Pipeline would stimulate socio-economic activities in Kano state. He further called on well-meaning Nigerians and foreign investors to continue to execute similar development projects.
While highlighting the investment opportunities in Kano State, the governor of Kano State, Dr. Umar Ganduje noted that the Kano State Government has continued to prioritise peace and stability as part of its strategy to engender investment. He further noted that there are over 160 functional industries in the Bompai, Tokarawa, Challawa and Sharada industrial layouts, however, over 201 industries are moribund. He added that these industries are set to be revived with the impending commissioning of the AKK pipeline while noting that Kano State will regain its status as the biggest commercial hub in West Africa.
The governments of Kaduna, Nassarawa, Niger and Kogi States while speaking on gas development opportunities and showcasing their respective States, outlined investment attractions and considerations in their respective States.
The Forum also featured a dynamic collection of speakers who took to the stage to deliver addresses and papers on topical issues. Notably, the President and CEO of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote while speaking on “Concrete Steps to Optimize the Benefits of the AKK” noted that without the AKK Pipeline, the FGN may not be able to meet its target of creating 100 million jobs in 10 years. The Honourable Minister of Finance, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development & Monitoring Board, the Director, Department of Petroleum Resources, the Honourable Minister for Power, the President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, the MD of Nigerian Gas Company Limited, the MD of Nigerian Gas Marketing Company Limited, the MD of ND Western Limited and other esteemed speakers were also present to lend their voices to the economic benefits of the AKK Pipeline.
The Forum also featured other activities including the Business Engagement Session as well as the exhibitions by industry stakeholders. On Wednesday, 28th July, 2021, there was also the Cultural Night which was organized to celebrate and connect guests to the culture and heritage of the Northern region.
The Managing Director and CEO of GACN, Mr. Olalekan Ogunleye while giving his closing remarks, assured Stakeholders that GACN will continue to engage with Stakeholders to ensure optimization of gas utilization opportunities. He added that a framework and an action plan for optimizing the economic development contribution of the AKK project has been developed for implementation. He expressed his gratitude to the Board, Management and Staff of GACN as well as the FGN, Sponsors, the AKK State governments and other industry Stakeholders for their enormous contributions towards the success of the Forum and the activities of GACN.