Nigeria, Morocco sign agreements on Regional Gas Pipeline

Moroccan Director General of the National Board of Hydrocarbons and Mines, Mrs Amina Benkhadra (right) shakes hand to Maikanti Kacalla Baru Chairman and CEO of the Nigerian National Oil Company, after signing of documents of Cooperation agreement of the Nigeria-Moroccan gas pipeline project that will connect the two nations as well as some other African countries to Europe at the king Palace in Rabat, Morocco, Monday May 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Abdeljalil Bounhar)

Nigeria and the Kingdom of Morocco on Monday signed three agreements, which included a regional gas pipeline that will see Nigeria providing gas to countries in West Africa sub-region that extend to Morocco and Europe.

This information is contained in a statement by Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, in Abuja on Monday.

The presidential aide revealed that the signing of the agreements was witnessed by President Muhammadu Buhari and the King of Morocco, His Majesty King Mohammed VI.

He said that the agreements was a result of a meeting between the two African leaders focused on strengthening economic relations in gas resource development, global investments and agricultural training and management.

Shehu explained that feasibility study of the agreement on the pipeline would be concluded by July 2018, while construction of the pipeline would be phased based on needs of countries over the next 25 years.

He added that the gas resource development agreement was signed by the Group General Manager, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mr Farouq Garba, and Mrs Amina Benkhadra, Director General of the National Office of Hydrocarbon and Mines.

The 5,660 km long Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline (NMGP) will reduce gas flaring in Nigeria, encourage diversification of energy resources and cut down poverty through the creation of more job opportunities.

The NMGP will further encourage utilisation of gas in the sub-region for cooking, and discourage desertification.

Shehu also said that the two countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the development of a chemical plant in Nigeria for producing ammonia and its derivatives.

The agreement was signed by the Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria Sovereign Wealth Authority, Mr Uche Orji and the Chief Executive Officer of the Office of the Management of Phosphate in Morocco, Mr Mostafa Terrab.

Similarly, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh and his Moroccan counterpart, Mr Aziz Akhannouch, signed a cooperation agreement on vocational training and technical supervision of agricultural workers.

The agreement is expected to enhance local skills on better management of agricultural outfits in Nigeria.

According to the Foreign Minister of Morocco, Nasser Bourita, who presented the broad guidelines of the projects, the signing of the agreements reflects the shared vision of the two leaders, President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, and King Mohammed VI of Morocco in favour of a sustainable, active and solidarity based joint development for Africa.

Both projects were initiated during the Moroccan leader’s visit of the king to Nigeria in December, 2016.

The ceremony was held at the palace of King.

President Buhari, who was received by a large crowd from the airport to the Rabat Royal Palace, assured King of Morocco of Nigeria’s full commitment to the actualisation of all the agreements.

The Nigeria delegation was led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Godfrey Onyeama, and had the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbe, his counterpart in the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Kayode Fayemi, the Governor of Jigawa State and Chairman, Presidential Committee on Fertiliser, Abubakar Badaru.

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