Nigeria’s President Mohammed Buhari has launched the construction of a $2.8 billion China-funded gas pipeline to connect natural gas networks across the country. At a virtual event on July 30th, President Buhari, “thanked the government of the People’s Republic China, the Bank of China and SINOSURE, the two Engineering Procurement Construction (EPC) Contractors – Brentex/China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau-CPP Consortium and Oilserve/China First Highway Engineering Company-CFHEC Consortium – for their support and commitment to deliver the project”.
According to Daily Trust News, 85% of the 40-inch x 614km Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) Gas Pipeline project is funded by Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), Bank of China, and Infrastructure Bank of China and China’s Export Credit Agency (ECA). The funding for this project was revealed during the 2018 Forum on China Africa Cooperation in Beijing at a meeting held between China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) and Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The AKK gas pipeline is expected to boost national gas supply for commercial purposes as well as connectivity between the East, West, and North of Nigeria. ESIAFRICA News reports that the project “would also unlock 2.2billion cubic feet of gas to the domestic market, support the addition of 3,600MW of power to the national grid and revitalize textile industries which alone boasts of over 3 million jobs in parts of the country”.
The gas pipeline is projected to transport 2.2 billion cubic feet of gas per day, and is expected to be completed within 24 months.
Countless African governments have received Chinese funding for infrastructure projects. Critics fear that China’s loans to Africa are inflated and could lead to the loss of African sovereignty in debt-trap diplomacy.