The Trans Saharan Gas Pipeline has been described as a symbol of regional integration within the Trans-Saharan African region. The description was made by the Honorable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, at an event recently held in Abuja.
The Minister was speaking at a tripartite meeting between the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria and the Republic of Niger on the re-activation and completion of the Trans-Saharan Gas Pipeline (TSGP) Project.
In his opening remarks at the event, Sylva stressed that the Trans-Saharan pipeline was crucial to Nigeria, having been on the drawing board for a long time, hence the need to actualize it. “The phenomenal increase in the prices of gas globally should be a driving force to fast track the project in order to take our gas to the global market”, he stated.
Sylva informed the gathering that some Finance Providers have indicated interest in investing in this project and ensure that Nigeria`s proven reserve of 260 trillion Cubic Feet (TCF) can support it. He added that, with further exploration, the reserve can be increased to 600 Trillion Cubic Feet (TCF). He noted that with Algeria and Niger’s natural gas deposits, Africa can be a significant supplier of gas in the world.
Speaking further, the Minister said that, he has been inundated with calls by some European countries demanding for alternative gas supply from Africa, considering the fact that gas is equally used as a weapon of warfare as he made reference to the ongoing crisis between Russia and Ukraine. The Minister informed them that Nigeria has started her own leg of the Ajaokuta–Kaduna–Kano (AKK) Gas Pipeline, which will link Algeria through Niger Republic.
In his goodwill message, the Honourable Minister of Energy and Mines, the People’s Democratic Republic Algeria, His Excellency, Mohamed Arkad said that the meeting was a follow-up to the one held on 16th February, 2022 in Niamey, Niger Republic, which was aimed at reactivating the Trans-Saharan Gas Pipeline Project. He noted that the launching of the feasibility studies showed the willingness and commitment of the three countries to improve the socioeconomic well-being of their citizenry.
The Trans-Saharan Gas Pipeline Project according to Arkad, was in line with his country’s national objective of supplying Natural Gas to the International Market. He stressed the importance of fast-tracking the completion of the pipelines with a view to obtaining the strong economic advantage associated with it.
Similarly, the Minister of Petroleum, Energy and Renewable Energies, Republic of Niger, His Excellency, Mohamane Sani Mohamadou stated that the meeting was a materialization of the goodwill of the Government of Republic of Niger to see to the actualization of the project, adding that the current happenings around the world offered a good opportunity that must not be allowed to slip off.
Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC), represented by the Group Executive Director, Gas and Power, Mallam Abdulkabir Ahmed said that the NNPC had a responsibility to operate commercially and profitably, having been transformed to a Limited Liability Company. He emphasized that the project was central to the yearning and aspirations of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
He reiterated that the NNPC will ensure that gas was commercialized by completing the project as well as finding profitable markets for the products. He noted that the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was already in place.
Other speakers are the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of SONIDEP and SONATRACH Petroleum Corporations. They expressed happiness to be part of the meeting and the process leading to the re-activation of the Gas Pipeline Project.
The meeting was attended by the Director Overseeing the Office of the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Engr. Busari, Kamoru Oladimeji (FNSE), Directors of Gas and Legal Departments in the Ministry.
Enefaa Bob-Manuel (Mrs.)