One of the criteria to assess any government in power is its effective implementation of policies put in the ‘economic blue print’. The ‘blue print’ of any government in power will state what it intends to achieve at a particular point in time say, at the end of four-year term, how it intends to achieve them in clear terms and what is going to be the role of various economic agents at various levels of government.
Apart from the fact that it will give direction which government and private sector operators will follow in order to arrive at a destination, it will tell them where and when to come in to do one or two things to assist the government of the day to achieve the common objective.
For example, when former President Olusegun Obasanjo was in government in 1999, he announced National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS) to ensure an all-inclusive economic development at various levels of government-federal, state and local government.
Former President, the late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua announced seven-point agenda to move the nation forward. These include: power and energy; food security and agriculture; wealth creation and employment, mass transportation, land reforms; security; qualitative and functional education and pursuance of the rule of law.
In the same vein, former President Goodluck Jonathan launched ‘Transformation Agenda’ as his economic blueprint to promote social and economic changes through the optimization of economic growth; develop a knowledge-based economy and enhance security of lives and properties; accelerate growth, provide employment and reduce youth restiveness.
Since President Muhammadu Buhari came in on the mantra of change in May last year, he has been fighting corruption and recovering looted funds but little has been heard on the programme to develop the economy except some statements from certain ministers such as the minister of works, power and housing, Raji Fashola, who had announced 13-point agenda to lift the economy.
Many chieftains of All Progressives Congress (APC) had been mentioning agric development, fight against corruption and recovery of looted funds as the major policies of this government but business organizations and private sector investors are yet to agree with the government on where and when to intervene to move the nation’s economy forward. For example, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development- Chief Audu Ogbeh, transportation- Rotimi Amaechi and Solid Minerals- Dr Kayode Fayemi are yet to unfold their strategies to develop their sectors.
Lack of economic direction by the government of President Buhari is not only discouraging private sector investors on what to do (such as when to invest, where to invest and how invest), it is frustrating foreign investors and preventing them from injecting fresh funds into the system to boost aggregate investment through the capital market and industrial sector development.
The result of this has been the shortfall in the availability of dollar in the local markets, sharp depreciation of naira to major currencies of the world and high inflation and unemployment rates in the system.
Because of low level of assurance on the government’s economic policies, there is low level of investment as investors are being very careful so that they don’t put money in the wrong direction and companies are retrenching to reduce cost of doing business because of lower productivity level.
It is high time President Buhari’s team sat down to draw economic blue print for the nation so that local and foreign investors could have something to examine for investment consideration. We need to know the type of agric system we are looking at-whether we are still holding to subsistence farming of hoe cutlass or we are going to attract mechanized farmers to embark on large scale farming. Which type of incentive is government going to give those farmers and for what duration, we need to know. Also the contribution of state and local governments to agriculture must be stated to allow proper assessment of governors to agriculture while each sector of the economy such as the banking, insurance, energy and housing should be given certain benchmark to evaluate their contributions to agric and nation’s economy.
Already, the leading opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has been bragging that the ruling party, APC does not know how to govern because there is no blue print to show direction and to assess its government, it is therefore necessary that President Buhari empowers his team to release a blueprint that will guide the nation and her economic agents on what to do, where to go and when to act.
It is also true that many nations may find it difficult to know where to come in to partner the government on bilateral trade arrange-ment for foreign investments to flow in if the economic blueprint is not available.
Harnessing research findings of our academics to enhance industrialisation in Nigeria
Universities all over the world serve as citadel of knowledge. No nation can develop or industrialise without the input of the academics that make up its university community.
The primary duties of an academic is teaching,research and community service. But chief among the functions is research and ironically this all-important function is often relegated to the background, especially in developing countries like Nigeria.
It is not as if we do not understand the importance of research and its products (findings), but we cannot just decipher the reason why our leaders always turn blind eye to research and its essence.
The arguments have been lack of political will but who is responsible for building political will, if not our political leaders? The question now is, what is their reason for shunning sponsorship of research in our tertiary institutions, especially the universities? If the lecturers could be battling with non-payment of their salaries, to the extent of embarking on strike, is it now funds for research that will be made available?
If the academic staff had followed the Federal or State governments with their ugly treatment towards the universities and their staff, nothing would have functioned at all.
In the west, premium is given to universities and academics who carry out research, having understood that nothing can be achieved in terms of development or industrialisation without the tenacity and insights that they bear.
Thankfully, the academics in Nigeria have defied all odds to carry out research and come up with results and findings. For instance, Prof Barinaadaa Thaddeus Lebele-Alawa, Professor of Thermal Power and Energy Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering,Rivers State University (RSU) during his inaugural lecture, titled, ‘Rotor Blade Profile: Influence on Thermal Power and Energy,’ had posited that thermal power is critical for industrialisation of any nation. He submitted that thermal power is the bedrock of human civilisation.
The question is, how far have the drivers (leaders) of our country used these findings and many more to our advantage?
Another scholar, in the Department of Chemical/Petrochemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Dr Izionworu Vincent Onuegbu, Rivers State University after painstaking research invented an inhibitor from natural plant extracts to tackle industrial corrosion. This breakthrough is against the previous organic and inorganic inhibitors that are said to be hazardous to humans.
According to Dr Vincent, the inhibitor from natural plant extracts is devoid of hazards and better put, it is user-friendly. The Doctor of Chemical/Petrochemical Engineering said based on the edge the natural inhibitor has over the organic and inorganic inhibitors ,he recommends it to the industrial community to end corrosion.
Another Academic and Research Fellow of our time, Prof Falitat Taiwo Ademiluyi professed that now that crude oil is dwindling, there is every need to seek for alternatives to save the country from collapse. Delivering her inaugural lecture on, ‘Unit Operations Application in the Development of Local Content:A Key to Nigerian Economic Growth,’ Prof Ademiluyi said fuel can be produced from cassava to replace crude oil, stressing that cassava is very rich in chemical content.
Prof Ademiluyi also said that ethanol can be used to produce Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS) cheaper than what we have today in the country and that the ethanol is produced from cassava. The Inaugural Lecturer said she regrets that Nigeria is not yet ready to produce fuel locally. She recommended that cassava processing industries should be established in all the local government areas of the country for the purpose of producing fuel.
These are just a few of the findings recorded by the academics in our universities. But to what extent have we paid heed to the products of our seat of knowledge? It is therefore in our own interest to harness the findings of the various researchers in the country’s universities for the development or industrialisation of Nigeria. The earlier we do that, the better for us all.
Debt trap: Nigeria at risk, caution must be applied to borrowings
Nigeria’s debt profile has continuously put fears of risk of sliding into debt trap. Again, President Bola Tinubu has written to the Senate seeking the approval of a fresh sum of $8.7billion and £100 million approved under former President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to the President, the past administration approved a 2022-2024 borrowing plan by the Federal Executive Council held on May 15, 2023. The letter which was read by the Senate President, GodsWill Akpabio, at the plenary recently stated that the money would be used to fund projects across all sectors, with specific emphasis on infrastructure, agriculture, health, water supply, roads, security, and employment generation as well as financial management reforms.
The letter read: “I write in respect of the above subject and to submit the attached Federal Government 2022-2024 external borrowing plan for consideration and early approval of the National Assembly to ensure prompt implementation of the projects. The Senate may wish to note that the past administration approved a 2022-2024 borrowing plan by the Federal Executive Council held on May 15, 2023.
“The project cuts across all sectors, with specific emphasis on infrastructure, agriculture, health, water supply, roads, security, and employment generation as well as financial management reforms.
”Consequently, the required approval is in the sum of $8,699,168,559 and £100 million. I would like to underscore the fact that the projects and programmes in the borrowing plan were selected based on economic evaluations as well as the expected contribution to the social economic development of the country, including employment generation, and skills acquisition.
“Given the nature of these facilities, and the need to return the country to normalcy it has become necessary for the senate to consider and approve the 2022-2024 external abridged borrowing plan to enable the government deliver its responsibility to Nigerians.”
Earlier, Tinubu had asked the National Assembly to approve $7.8billion, £100 million in the borrowing plan of the Federal Government.
While it has been justified that borrowing is rational when channelled profitably into capital projects of far reaching impacts, the question of whether the loans acquired over time by the government at different levels are channelled judiciously into profitable capital projects has been a subject of concern.
Recently, as record of Nigeria’s pubic debt continue to generate concerns, hitting N46.25trillion in 2022 fourth quarter, frontline civil right group, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), had urged the World Bank to promptly, transparently and effectively conduct an investigation into the spending of over $8.5 billion loans and other facilities by 36 state governors in Nigeria.
SERAP had also urged the Bank to “suspend further applications for loans and any other funding to the 36 states until those states are able to satisfactorily explain details of spending of loans and other facilities obtained from the Bank and its partners.”
In the letter dated November 25, 2023, by SERAP Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, SERAP wrote the President of World Bank, Mr Ajay Banga, saying: “The World Bank and its partners cannot continue to give loans and other funding to these states where there are credible allegations of mismanagement or diversion of public funds. We are concerned that there is a significant risk of mismanagement or diversion of funds linked to the Bank’s investments in many of the country’s 36 states. It is neither appropriate nor responsible lending to give loans to these states only for the loans to be misspent.”
The letter had read in part: “The World Bank’s lending, and support for these states may create the impression of complicity in the allegations of mismanagement or diversion of public funds by the states which may include loans from the Bank and its partners, and federal allocations.
“We would consider the option of pursuing legal action should the World Bank fail or fail to implement the recommendations contained in this letter, and we may join the country’s 36 states in any such suit.
“According to Nigeria’s Debt Management Office, total public debt portfolio for the country’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory is N9.17 trillion. The Federal Government’s total public debt portfolio is N78.2 trillion.
“We also urge you to demand expressed commitment from Nigeria’s 36 governors to address credible allegations of mismanagement or diversion of public funds in their states and provide guarantees that loans and funding from the Bank and its partners would not be used to fund the luxurious lifestyles of politicians.
“We urge the Bank to send independent monitors to the 36 states to monitor the spending of the loans and other funding obtained from the Bank and its partners to remove the risks of mismanagement or diversion of public funds by these states.
“The World Bank currently has a portfolio of about $8.5 billion spread across the country. The Bank has also approved several loans and other funding facilities to the country’s 36 states including the recent $750 million credit line meant to the states carry out reforms to attract investment and create jobs.
“The accounts of Nigeria’s 36 states are generally not open to public scrutiny as many of them continue to refuse freedom of information requests seeking transparency and accountability in the spending of public funds.
“The World Bank and its partners need to make clear to Nigeria’s state governors that it would not tolerate any mismanagement or diversion of public funds by immediately suspending any pending loans and other funding to them until the allegations of mismanagement or diversion of public funds are investigated.
“The Bank has a legal responsibility to ensure that suspected perpetrators are brought to justice, and that any mismanaged or diverted public funds are returned to the treasuries of the states. The World Bank has the legal obligations to observe and promote compliance with the Nigerian Constitution 1999 [as amended] and domestic laws including the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2007.
“Nigeria’s total public debt stock, including external and domestic debts, increased to N46.25 trillion or $103.11 billion in the fourth quarter of 2022.
“Many states reportedly owing civil servants’ salaries and pensions. Several states are borrowing to pay salaries. Millions of Nigerians resident in these states continue to be denied access to basic public goods and services such as quality education and healthcare.
“Several state governors are also reportedly spending public funds which may include funding obtained from the Bank and its partners and allocations from the Federal Government to fund unnecessary travels, buy exotic and bulletproof cars and generally fund the lavish lifestyles of politicians.
“The country’s 36 states have reportedly spent N1.71 trillion on recurrent expenditures, including allowances, foreign trips, office stationery, and aircraft maintenance in the first nine months of 2023.
“In Abia State, the government reportedly spent N397,520,734.84 on ‘feeding and welfare’ and N223,389,889.84 on ‘refreshments and meals.’ The Akwa Ibom State government has reportedly spent N92.54 billion on allowances and social contributions, social benefits, travel and transport, utilities such as electricity chargers, Internet access charges, and on materials and supplies such as office stationery, drugs, laboratory and medical supplies, maintenance, training in the first two quarters alone.
“The government has also reportedly spent N10m on hosting/mobilisation of political associations and interest groups, and N841.83 million on entertainment at meetings. The Adamawa State government has reportedly spent N40.90 billion on non-salary expenditure as of the end of quarter three, 2023 including on furniture allowance, travel and training, domestic and foreign, office stationery and consumables, and refreshments and meals. The Anambra State government also reportedly spent N15.17 billion frivolous items, as of the end of quarter two, 2023. While Bauchi State government reportedly spent N70.25 billion on frivolous items, Bayelsa State government spent N58.26 billion on travel, welfare packages, burial logistics, meeting expenses, ‘praise night/thanksgiving expenses’, and ‘marriage ceremony support.’
“In Lagos State, N440,750,000 was reportedly awarded to the Office of the Chief of Staff for the procurement of a brand new bullet-proof Lexus LX 600 for use in the pool of the Office of Chief of Staff. Some N2 billion was also reportedly budgeted to buy rechargeable fans, rechargeable lights and fridge in the Office of the Deputy Governor.
“The Benue State government reportedly spent N34.44 billion on ‘special day celebrations’ ‘welfare packages,’ ‘security votes,’ and materials and supplies such as office stationery, and books. According to reports, Borno, Cross Rivers, Delta, Ebonyi states also respectively spent N32.63 billion, N43.71 billion, N152.15 billion, N30.91bn, and N41.11 billion on frivolous items and the public funds may have been mismanaged or diverted.
“Ekiti State reportedly spent N31.33 billion on local and international travel and transport, miscellaneous such welfare packages, refreshments, honorarium and sitting allowances. According to reports, both Enugu and Gombe states respectively spent N33.36 billion and N24.73 billion on frivolous items and the public funds may have been mismanaged or diverted. Imo State government reportedly spent N58.21 billion on refreshments and meals, welfare packages, and other allowances. Jigawa State reportedly spent N49.64 billion on transport and travelling, materials and supplies including drugs, vaccines, medical supplies, and stationeries.
“According to reports, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kwara and Kogi states also respectively spent N27.87 billion, N17.79 billion, N40.49 billion, N24.51 billion, N41.19 billion, and N58.02bn on frivolous items and the public funds may have been mismanaged or diverted.
“Section 41 of the Fiscal Responsibility Act provides: ‘Government at all tiers shall only borrow for capital expenditure and human development.
“The World Bank and its partners have obligations under international anticorruption and human rights law, including a responsibility to promote transparency and accountability in the management of public funds, prevent mismanagement or diversion of public funds, and redress any abuse of public trust that they may have contributed to.
“As a UN specialised agency, the World Bank also has an obligation to promote transparency and accountability in the management of public resources and effective implementation of the UN Convention against corruption to which Nigeria is a state party.
“The World Bank’s board of executive directors also has an obligation to ensure that the policies and decisions of the Bank are consistent with their own statutes and governments’ transparency and accountability obligations.” The matters raised over the fears on the risk the country is exposed to, with the cyclical resort to borrowing have become critical in the face of economic and finance misfortune which the justification of the past borrowings have not so far proven. It is important that the executive exercise caution to the cyclical culture of borrowing. Such restraints are essential as the Country appears closer to debt trap and wastages than it is to sustainability. It is important that the legislature begin to play its role effectively from the National Assembly to the State Assemblies. This is pertinent to carry out their oversight function, rather than becoming a rubber stamp to every request of the executive, at the detriment of the masses.
Kyari’s reappointment good omen to stabilise fuel supply during yuletide
Prior to the yuletide season in few weeks today, the reappointment of the Group Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), Mele Kyari will change the narrative from the usual artificial scarcity of the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) popularly known as Petrol as a result of the familiarity of the GCEO in operational activities in the energy sector.
During the annual Christmas festival in the past few years, the marketers in the oil Sector always create artificial scarcity of fuel, mainly hike the pump prices at the detriment of the poor masses but President Bola Tinubu in his prudent initiative steps this step to stabilise the system.
The President in accordance with Section 59 (2) of the Petroleum Industry Act, 2021 has given his approval for the appointment of a new Board and Management team for the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), effective from December 1, 2023.
Those appointed includes Chief Pius Akinyelure — Non-Executive Board Chairman; Mallam Mele Kolo Kyari — Group Chief Executive Officer; Alhaji Umar Isa Ajiya — Chief Financial Officer; Mr. Ledum Mitee — Non-Executive Director ; Mr. Musa Tumsa — Non-Executive Director; Mr Ghali Muhammad — Non-Executive Director; Prof. Mustapha Aliyu — Non-Executive Director; Mr. David Ogbodo — Non-Executive Director; Ms. Eunice Thomas — Non-Executive Director.
The President also approved the appointment of two Permanent Secretaries: Mr. Okokon Ekanem Udo — Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance; Amb. Gabriel Aduda — Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources
He emphasised on the importance of adhering to a performance-driven and results-oriented mandate in his Renewed Hope administration. The appointed team is expected to lead the implementation of an energy policy that maximises current oil and gas resources while paving the way for the exploration of new and cleaner energy sources in the future.
A peek into the achievements of Mr. Kyari, a Maiduguri-born Petroleum Engineer who inherited an NNPC that was still struggling to shake off the negative image of a national oil company where nothing works. The NNPC has been living in the dark shadows of a cesspool of monumental corruption and opacity; a place perpetually lagging behind its peers in other climes; where nothing is done properly and efficiency to the benefit of its shareholders, which are the Nigerian people but Kyari foresight in mastering the art brought total transformation.
Kyari knew NNPC needed a new vista and a break away from its decadent past. He saw his appointment as an opportunity of lifetime to give the NNPC a new direction in the way its operations and businesses are well conducted, and give Nigerians a renewed hope. The reform-minded oil guru and gas industry technocrat unfolded an agenda for NNPC’s rebirth. He called it the Transparency, Accountability and Performance Excellence (TAPE), a five-step strategic roadmap for NNPC’s attainment of efficiency and global excellence.
During the official unveiling of the TAPE agenda, Kyari said it was the only way to transform the NNPC and enhance its potential and capacity to compete with other national oil companies around the world. Kyyaritold members of the NNPC’s Management team to buckle up, shape up, ship in with the new direction, or ship out with the old ways of doing things.
He said the five steps for realising the objectives of TAPE were to ensure NNPC opened up its systems to public scrutiny; its operational processes were made transparent and accountable to the Nigerian people and the government; The new system would operate along with well-defined operational processes, benchmarked against established global best practices by world-class oil and gas companies; Set the right operational cost structure, to guarantee value-addition towards NNPC’s sustained profitability, and Set achievable goals, priorities and performance standards and criteria, by developing suitable governance structures for its strategic business units, and the entrenchment of team-spirit, work ethic and collaboration with all key stakeholders to achieve set corporate goals.
Key among the issues was the unresolved Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), whose passage has continued to await the attention of the National Assembly and the government, fueling the pervading uncertainty among existing and prospective investors in the industry.
For instance, the final investment decision (FID) for the construction of Train 7 of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) plant, of which NNPC is the principal partner, could not be taken after several postponements and delays. Partners could not reach a consensus on certain fundamental issues.
Also, there were some unresolved disputes that involved some communities in the Niger Delta region and some oil companies, which affected oil exploration and production activities in the region.
Although some of these issues remain unresolved completely, there are visible shreds of evidence of tangible steady progress in the last one year under the Kyari management at the NNPC.
The Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) is the upstream exploration and exploration subsidiary of the NNPC. For years, the company has been struggling to grow its output capacity to about 250,000 barrels per day. Disputes by Niger Delta communities hosting some of its key oil fields frustrated its efforts, as its workers were denied access to critical oil fields.
Apart from the discovery of Oil in the Kolmani River-II Well, which is expected to significantly boost its oil production capacity, between NPDC and the Operations at oil mining lease (OML) 25, known as the Kula oil field, was shut down on August 11, 2017, following a dispute between Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and a local oil company, Belema Oil Producing Limited (BPL) over interests in the operations of the oil field in the Belema Community area.
Throughout the period of the dispute, the resolution of the dispute seemed far-fetched. The oil platform in Belema community in Akuku-Toru local council area of Rivers State was occupied by protesting community women and youth over alleged neglect and lack of development in the area. None of the parties conceded grounds.
But, Kyari was instrumental to the dialogue that restored normalcy in the area. Shortly after assuming office, he succeeded in mobilising all the parties in the dispute to the table for peaceful resolution of the dispute on September 17, 2019.
Following his intervention, all the issues were amicably settled. The traditional injunction that stopped oil production at the OML-25 oil flow station was removed.
A proposal of a roadmap for the development of the community was presented to the federal government and the NNPC in a new global memorandum of understanding (GMoU) granting the Belema community right to be involved in the maintenance and security of the oil facilities, while Shell remained the operator, along with its partner, the NPDC.
The significance of OML 25 is that it accounts for about 35,000 barrels of crude oil per day that production was shut-in during the period the oil field was shut down as a result of the dispute. The reopening of oil production activities in the area was a major boost to NPDC’s output and the country’s oil production capacity.
His intervention, which resulted in the resolution of all the issues that frustrated NPDC’s quest for increased oil production capacity ensured the company attained a new peak output of 331,400 barrels per day on May 28, 2020. In the 2019 financial year, Kyari ensured the NPDC maintained a unit oil production cost of $16.5 per barrel per day.
Within the last one year, Kyari ensured the execution of a funding and technical services agreement (FTSA) as well as an alternative financing deal for NPDC’s OML 13 valued at about $3.15 billion and OML 65 for $876 million. These agreements resulted is a 32 percent and 21 percent incremental production output in OMLs 40 and 30.
Also, 14 companies participated in the auction for the financing and redevelopment of OML 119 operated by the NPDC. The twin offshore block made up of Okono and Okpoho fields located approximately 50 kilometres offshore south-eastern Niger Delta operated by ExxonMobil.
Kyari described OML 119 as one of NNPC’s critical projects, which aligns with the Federal Government’s aspiration to boost the country’s crude oil and gas production, growing reserves, and monetising the nation’s enormous gas resources.
Kyari has also been able to save costs for the government through NNPC’s revision of joint venture and production sharing contract (PSC) operators’ unit costs, down to $19 per barrel and $18.3 per barrel, from the initial $31 per barrel and $24.3 per barrel respectively.
Concerned about the impact of high oil production cost on the government revenue, Kyari has, in the last one year, demonstrated commitment to achieving the industry target of reducing oil production cost to an average of $10 per barrel by 2021.
Under Kyari’s management in the last one year, the NPDC also acquired four new oil acreages (OMLs 11, 24, 116 and 98) while recovering debts for gas supplies totaling about N16.64 billion and $3.55 million.
In terms of gas development, Kyari has made significant progress in the development of an integrated gas handling facility, with the commissioning scheduled for the third quarter of this year.
Despite the challenges in the oil and gas industry, Kyari was able to ensure the NNPC subsidiary in charge of the government investment interests in the oil industry joint venture projects, the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), was able to achieve an average oil production capacity of 1.8 million barrels per day prior to the recent decision by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to cut its members’ output to boost crude oil prices and stabilise the oil market.
Kyari has also supported NAPIMS to secure external funding for the SPDC’s Santolina 3 projects expected to deliver an average production of 16,300 barrels of oil per day, while also superintending over the resolution of the Escravos gas-to-liquids (EGTL) cost dispute with Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL).
The settlement agreement is expected to bring in additional $2billion to the Federal Government in the next 20 years, while providing about 1.5 million litres of diesel per day to the country.
He took steps to resolve the disputes that affected activities in other oil concessions. Following his intervention, the “signing of novation agreement between NPDC and the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) involving the transfer of OMLs 60, 61 and 63 was formalised.
Just as Nigerians were celebrating the milestone on the Nigeria LNG project, Kyari ensured President Muhammadu Buhari flagged off the EPC activities on the 614 kilometers-long Ajaokuta–Kaduna–Kano (AKK) pipeline project by NNPC last week.
Considered to be at the heart of the country’s economic growth, Kyari has pursued the execution of the project with single-minded commitment to see that it is completed on schedule in 2023.
The pipeline project represents phase one of the 1,300 kilometre-long Trans-Nigerian Gas Pipeline (TNGP) project being developed as part of Nigeria’s Gas Master Plan to utilise the country’s surplus gas resources for power generation as well as for consumption by domestic customers.
The TNGP project also forms part of the proposed 4,401 kilometre-long Trans-Saharan Gas Pipeline (TSGP) to export natural gas to customers in Europe.
The AKK pipeline system that will originate at the Ajaokuta terminal gas station (TGS) in the Kogi state will transport up to 3,500 million cubic feet (MCF) of gas per day from various gas gathering projects in southern Nigeria through Niger and Kaduna States, to terminate at a gas station at Kano State.
Apart from helping the government to save over $300 million, the AKK project would also attract over $2billion of FDI.
Prior to his appointment, hiccups in the supply of petroleum products was a common feature in the Nigerian economy. The incessant disruptions in fuel supply affected Nigerians’ ability to plan effectively. They could not predict when the next fuel scarcity would hit the country and send families to spend days and nights in long fuel queues at filling stations.
Kyari leveraged on the existing Direct-Sales-Direct-Purchase (DSDP) product supply arrangement he started and sustained while in office as the GGM COMD of the NNPC, to guarantee energy security for Nigerians.
For years, the NNPC has always defaulted in remitting to the Federation Accounts revenues realised from its operations. Every audit conducted by the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) on the activities of the oil and gas industry has always ended with reports indicting the NNPC for not remitting several billions of unreconciled balances to the Federal Government.
But, under Kyari, NNPC has always ensured timely and regular remittances of all revenues accruable to the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) for distribution to the three tiers of government.
Another priority that has placed the leadership of the oil Sector above the water is drastic reduction of oil thieves in collaboration with the security agencies compared to the mirage being witnessed by the past Administrations. The removal of the fuel subsidy by Mr. President also adds more accolades to management of the Sector by winding off cabals.
Ultimately, the reappointment of Kyari as the stewardship of the crude oil sector will bring stable policy formulation and implementation without rancour. However, much is expected from the GCEO especially in the area of ensuring that the three refineries become functional to the benefit of Nigerians.
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