Nigeria’s ambitious dream of constructing a gas pipeline from Nigeria to Morocco and possibly to Europe is fast becoming a reality with the signing of four significant Memoranda of Understanding at the headquarters of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in Abuja.
The Chief Corporate Communications Officer, NNPC Ltd., Garba Deen Muhammad disclosed this in a statement on Friday, June 16, 2023.
Muhammad said the tripartite MOUs were signed between the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) and the Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines (ONHYM) of Morocco on one hand, and the Société Nationale des Opérations Pétrolières of Cote d’Ivoire (PETROCI), the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL), the Société Nationale des Hydrocarbures of Benin (SNH-Benin), and the Société Nationale des Pétroles of the Republic of Guinea (SONAP) on the other hand.
Additionally, he said, the project’s Steering Committee convened to discuss the progress of the Project and its strategic direction.
The 5,600 kilometres gas pipeline project which would cost about $ 25 billion is expected to accelerate development in Africa, especially, the ECOWAS sub-region.
Similar to those signed with ECOWAS on September 15, 2022, Mauritania and Senegal on October 15, 2022, and The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone, and Ghana on December 5, 2022, the Memoranda of Understanding reaffirm the commitment of the Parties to the strategic project.
Once completed, the project would enhance the monetization of the natural gas resources of the affected African countries and also offer a new alternative export route to Europe.
This significant infrastructure project will contribute to accelerating access to energy for all, improving the living conditions of the populations, integrating the economies of the sub-region, and mitigating desertification. It will achieve these goals through the provision of a sustainable and reliable gas supply that aligns with the continent’s new environmental commitments while providing Africa with a new economic, political, and strategic dimension.
In his remarks, GCEO NNPC Ltd, Mr. Mele Kyari thanked President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the Nigerian Government for entrusting NNPC Ltd with the strategic project as the National Energy Company.
He added that “as a commercial enterprise, NNPC Ltd sees this project as an opportunity to monetize Nigeria’s abundant hydrocarbon resources, by expanding Access to energy to support economic growth, industrialization, and job creation across the African continent and beyond”.
Also speaking, the Director General of ONHYM, Amina Benkhadra said that the gathering represents a progressive step in ensuring social and economic development through energy security and accessibility geared towards attaining total development of Africa by Africans.
In his remarks, the ECOWAS Commissioner for Infrastructure, Energy, and Digitization, Mr. Sédiko Douka said the gas pipeline project is significant as it will help strengthen the region’s electricity production/generation capacity, stimulate industrial and agricultural development, and contribute to the energy transition by using a source of energy that is cleaner than other fossil fuels.
The signings took place on the sidelines of the Steering Committee meeting of the Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline Project, which was attended by representatives from ECOWAS and all the participating countries, including Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, The Gambia, Senegal, Mauritania, and Morocco.