President Muhammadu Buhari says the federal government will soon commence the construction of the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AAK) gas pipeline.

Buhari said this in Malabo, Equitorial Guinea, while addressing the 5th Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) Summit on Friday.

He said Nigeria has led the way in the construction of the West Africa Gas Pipeline which runs through four West African countries.

The 600-kilometre AAK gas pipeline which forms phase one of the Trans-Nigeria Gas Pipeline (TNGP) project, is designed to enable gas connectivity between the east, west and north.

Buhari said the viability of extending the gas pipeline system across the Sahara to Algeria in North Africa is still under consideration.

“We are mindful of the energy deficit in the developing world especially, here in Africa where we have nearly 600 million people without access to modern energy. As responsible leaders, it is our duty to preserve the environment not only for the present but for future generations,” he said.

“We can achieve this balance between our energy deficit and environmental preservation needs by developing and deploying new technologies. Although classified as fossil fuel, natural gas is a viable solution to both our energy and environmental challenges.

“Natural gas has the added advantage of availability and affordability. To fully leverage this potential, nations need to pool resources to put up trans-border and trans-regional energy infrastructure.

“The Paris Accord of 2015 signalled the first major global commitment to a deliberate effort on this inevitable transition.

“Nigeria is proud to be one of the first signatories to the historic Agreement. We in Nigeria have led the way by the construction of the West Africa Gas Pipeline which runs through four West African countries.”

Buhari also commended the the founding fathers of the GECF for “promoting natural gas in the global energy mix.”