Nigeria: Pres Buhari launches massive gas pipeline project

'Two Chinese companies will build the 614km gas pipeline'

‘Two Chinese companies will build the 614km gas pipeline’

ABUJA, July 1 (NNN-AGENCIES) — Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has launched an ambitious gas pipeline project linking the south of the country with the north.

Nigeria secured a $2.6bn loan from the China Export and Credit Insurance Corporation, also known as Sinosure, and the Bank of China to finance the project.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, Buhari launched the pipeline project via a video link while other officials were at the site.

Two Chinese companies will build the 614km gas pipeline, which should be completed within two years.

It will run link the central town of Ajaokuta in Kogi state to Kano state in the far north.

President Buhari said when completed it would help boost industrialisation as well as jobs and electricity generation.

Nigeria is one of Africa’s largest economies and oil and gas producers.

Meanwhile, speaking via video message to a high-level meeting of the UN General Assembly on poverty eradication, Buhari outlined the Federal Government’s plans to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty within the next 10 years.

The virtual meeting featured the launch of the Alliance for Poverty Eradication (APE), designed to serve as a forum to galvanise UN member states, the international community and other stakeholders to support actions geared toward poverty eradication.

Buhari welcomed the launch of the initiative and expressed Nigeria’s endorsement of all multilateral actions aimed at actualising the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“Nigeria will continue to provide easier and increased access to financial services for micro and small-scale businesses through the government’s Enterprise and Empowerment Programme,” he said.

The president expressed his administration’s determination to do more, including massive investment in education, especially of the girl-child.

“Nigeria holds the view that education is a critical driver of sustainable development and has immense capacity to eradicate poverty. “Educating our children, especially the girl child, contributes significantly to the fight against poverty, environmental sustainability and improved health as well as building peace and resilient societies,” he said.

Buhari said the Federal Government had also integrated the economic, social and environmental dimensions of the SDGs into its economic plans. He decried the adverse economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic which he said was threatening to reverse decades of progress made in poverty eradication.

In response to the challenges posed by COVID-19, he said the government recently developed an economic sustainability plan.

The plan, he said, would stimulate the economy and extend protection to the very poor and other vulnerable groups through pro-poor spending.

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, became the third African country to record over 10,000 cases of COVID-19. The milestone was reached when 307 new cases took its tally to 10,162.

As Africa’s biggest economy, the federal government has continued to enforce regulations across the board even though most state governments have moved to relax restrictions. — NNN-AGENCIES