The House of Representatives has asked the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited to provide information regarding the implementation, funds utilisation and status of the construction of the Trans Saharan Natural Gas Pipeline.
This plea follows the motion on the urgent need to address the prolonged construction of the gas project raised at the plenary meeting on Wednesday by Hon. Ahmed Munir, member representing Lere federal constituency, Kaduna state.
At the meeting, Munir noted that on January 14 2002, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Limited and the Algerian National Oil and Gas Company (Sonatrach) signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a $12 billion, 4,128km Natural Gas Pipeline Project with a projected annual capacity of 30 billion cubic meters that will extend gas supply to Europe.
He also noted that in June 2005, the NNPC and Sonatrach signed a contract with Penspen Limited for a feasibility study of the project, which was completed in September 2006.
According to him, the pipeline was technically and economically feasible and reliable, which led to the intergovernmental agreement on the pipeline signed by the Energy Ministers of Nigeria, Niger and Algeria on July 3, 2009, in Abuja.
According to a report from The Leadership News, the lawmaker from the All Progressives Congress (APC) expressed concern that in 2013, the Federal Government approved a budget of $400 million for the commencement of the project initially scheduled to be operational by 2020 but with no commensurate progress made to date.
“A new Gas Master Plan (GMP) needs to be crafted due to the current geopolitical realities. The successful completion of this vital project will create jobs, spur economic growth, and enhance energy and regional security,” he said.
Following the adoption of the motion through a majority voice vote, the House, therefore, mandated its Committee on Gas Resources to ensure compliance and report back within four weeks for further legislative action.
The House also asked NNPC to review the National Gas Master Plan relating to the project to conform with today’s global economy variables.