President Muhammadu Buhari led Nigeria to sign a gas pact with Morocco on Monday, June 11, 2018, in Rabat, but many are skeptical about the increased relationship between the two countries, soon after the fertilizer deal with same Morocco and increased interest of the North African country in West Africa. Morocco is seeking associate membership of ECOWAS.
The presidency however points to benefits to Nigeria. According to the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, “The Nigeria Morocco Gas Pipeline, designed to be 5,660km long, will reduce gas flaring in Nigeria and encourage diversification of energy resources in the country, while cutting 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.”
Nigeria and Morocco on Monday signed agreements on regional gas pipeline, development of chemical plant and vocational training and technical supervision as part of activities marking President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to the North African country.
This was revealed in statement issued by the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, saying the regional gas pipeline would enable Nigeria to provide gas to West African countries close to Morocco and Europe.
According to the presidential aide, the signing of the agreements was witnessed by Buhari and King Mohammed V1 after a meeting between the two leaders saying the meeting focused on strengthening of relations in gas development, global investments and agricultural training and management.
He said the Managing Director of Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), Mr. Uche Orji and the Chief Executive Officer, Office of the Management of Phosphate in Morocco, Mr. Mostafa Terrab, also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the development of ammonia plant in the country.
The cooperation agreement on vocational training was signed by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh and his Moroccan counterpart, Mr. Aziz Akhannouch.
He said the training would enhance skills on effective management of agricultural activities in Nigeria.
The statement read: “The feasibility study of the agreement on the pipeline, which was signed by the Group General Manager of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Farouq Garba, and Mrs. Amina Benkhadra, Director General of the National Office of Hydrocarbon and Mines, will be concluded by July 2018.
“The construction of the pipeline will be phased and based on increasing needs of the countries crossed, and Europe, for the period of 25 years.