The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited and the Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines of Morocco, on Thursday, signed the Memorandum of Understanding for the commencement of construction of the 5,600km Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline.
NNPC said the much-awaited Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline project officially commenced following the signing of the MoU between the two countries and the Economic Community of West African States in Rabat, Morocco.
It said the two countries and ECOWAS executed the MoU agreement on the project, which was a significant step in fulfilling the Federal Government’s drive towards harnessing Nigeria’s abundant gas resources.
The NMGP is a 5,600km gas pipeline project, traversing 13 African countries, which, when completed will provide gas from Nigeria to the West African countries up to the Kingdom of Morocco and subsequently to Europe.
Once completed, the project will supply about three billion standard cubic feet of gas per day along the West African coast from Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana, Cote d’’ Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Gambia, Senegal and Mauritania to Morocco.
Signing the agreement on behalf of Nigeria was the Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPC Ltd, Mele Kyari; while Director-General of Morocco’s National Office for Hydrocarbons and Mines, Dr. Amina Benkhadra, signed on behalf of her country.
The ECOWAS Commissioner for Infrastructure, Energy and Digitalisation, Mr. Sediko Douka, signed on behalf of the sub-regional organisation.
In his remarks at the MoU signing ceremony, Kyari described the development as a very important milestone in the NMGP project in which all the key stakeholders in the project had come together to reaffirm their commitments to deliver on the project.
While expressing his appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari and His Royal Majesty, King Mohammed VI of Morocco, who both entrusted NNPC Ltd and ONHYM with the strategic project, Kyari stated that from inception of the project to this stage, concerted efforts had been made by the governments of both countries, which led to the achievements recorded so far.
He said the Federal Government and the Kingdom of Morocco would benefit immeasurably from the execution of the project, as this would extend beyond the supply of gas to energise the countries along the route.
Conceived during the visit of King Mohammed VI of Morocco to Nigeria in December 2016, the NMGP project is an initiative of the Federal Government and the Kingdom of Morocco.
It is aimed at monetising Nigeria’s abundant natural gas resources, thereby generating additional revenue for the country, diversifying Nigeria’s gas export routes and eliminating gas flaring across the country.
The pipeline will originate from Brass Island (Nigeria) and terminates at North of Morocco, where it will be connected to the existing Maghreb European Pipeline that originates from Algeria (via Morocco), all the way to Spain.
By Okechukwu Nnodim