Minister of State Petroleum Resources, Ekperikpe Ekpo, has charged contractors handling the 614-kilometer Ajaokuta, Kaduna, Kano gas pipelines project not to default on the promised July/August 2024 completion deadline.

Spokesperson for the Minister, Louis Ibah, in a statement on Thursday, said the deadline was issued while the minister was on a tour of the project on Thursday.

The minister had expressed concerns over the slow pace of work and demanded from the contractor handling segment one of the project when the project would be completed.

Responding, the Chairman of Oilserve Limited, Emeka Okuosa, one of the contractors handling the project, said the project would be completed for inauguration between July and August 2024.

Okuosa, however, listed some of the challenges slowing down the AKK gas pipeline including insecurity in neighbouring Niger State and a right-of-way characterised by rocks and rivers.

He noted that the company was working with the NNPCL and security agencies to curtail the pockets of insecurity and ensure contractors work both day and night to meet the July/August 2024 deadline that it has set.

The minister who was accompanied on the tour by the Authority Chief Executive, Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority,  Farouk Ahmed, top officials of the NNPCL and other industry stakeholders told the contractors to stick to the July/August deadline.

 “The July, August deadline should be sacrosanct and there should be no excuse; that is what we are going to look at,” Ekpo reiterated while appealing to Nigerians to be patient with the President Bola Tinubu-led Federal Government, assuring that the economic situation of the country would improve for the benefit of all citizens next year by the time the AKK project and other economic programmes start yielding dividends.

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