Senate chairman lauds President Buhari’s initiative on Agadem-Kaduna pipeline

Edwin Akwueh, Abuja

Senator Tayo Alasoadura, the chairman, Nigeria’s Senate committee on Petroleum Upstream

The recent initiative by the President Buhari-led administration to build a one thousand (1,000) kilometer crude oil pipelines from Agadem in Niger Republic to Kaduna Refinery, has been applauded.

Senator Tayo Alasoadura who is the Chairman, Nigeria’s Senate Committee on Petroleum Upstream made the commendation while speaking on a Voice of Nigeria current affairs programme: In the News.

The Agadem Block is located in the East Niger Rift Basin.

Meanwhile, engagements are already ongoing between the government of both countries (Niger Republic and Nigeria) and the Chinese that are operating the field at Agadem, and Senator Alasoadura is happy that the initiative would boost the manufacturing sector.

“So, remember that we have various crude oil types and the heavy crude is expected to be processed in the Kaduna refinery but that one is not easy to get in Nigeria. We have one of the best types in the world which is the Bonny light, and it’s not suitable for the Kaduna refinery because that place you are expected to get petroleum, you are expected to get bitumen for the roads and you are also expected to get other bi-products from the heavy crude but we have been using machines designed solely for the production of refined products from heavy crude; we have been using light crude for such machines.

And we find out that the thing breaks down intermittently, you repair it today, in three months time you hear that another turn around maintenance has to be done.

One of the reasons is that the products that are being refined there are not the ones that ought to be refined in that Kaduna refinery.”

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has pledged to drive the energy supply project to power industries in Kaduna by ensuring the completion of the Ajaokuta-Abuja-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) gas pipeline.

Petroleum Industry Bill

Speaking on the current legislation of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB), Senator Alasoadura expressed confidence that, when passed and signed into law, it would encourage competition and effectiveness in the industry.

“I believe that when others see that it is profitable, they will run and come. We thank Dangote that is now building a refinery that is going to be competitive and you will see the effect of what Dangote is doing by the time the refinery is completed. Our own refineries that are not working now, if we are not careful, they would die because nobody would want to go and do business with an inefficient organisation.

And when Dangote is able to churn out refined products they would be forced to sit up and make our refineries work there must be competition because, where there is no competition inefficiency is the order of the day.

I believe that with what is happening now am sure, many more organizations would come to set up refineries and gas plants, when they know that it is a profitable business in Nigeria.”

Last Friday, the Senate joint committee on the PIGB completed the three day public hearing on the enactment of the bill, and the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki assured Nigerians that it would be passed by the first quarter of 2017.