The much-awaited Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline (NMGP) Project has officially taken off, following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two countries and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in Rabat, Morocco, on Thursday.
In a ceremony held at Hotel Sofitel in the Moroccan Capital, the two countries and ECOWAS executed the MoU agreement on the project, which is 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 through 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 (3bscfd) 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, Mallam Mele Kyari; while Dr. Amina Benkhadra, Director General of Morocco’s National Office for Hydrocarbons & Mines (ONHYM) signed on behalf of her country. Mr. Sediko Douka, the ECOWAS Commissioner for Infrastructure, Energy and Digitalization signed on behalf of the sub-regional organisation.
In his remarks at the MoU signing ceremony, the GCEO NNPC Ltd, Mallam Mele Kyari described the development as a very important milestone in the NMGP project in which all the key stakeholders in the project have come together to reaffirm their commitment to deliver on the project.
While expressing his deep 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 said from inception of the project to this stage, concerted efforts have been made by Government of both countries, which led to the very commendable achievements recorded so far.
He said the Government of Nigeria and the Kingdom of Morocco stand to benefit immeasurably from the execution of the project which extends beyond the supply of gas to energize the countries along the route.
“Some of the benefits include creation of wealth and improvement in standard of living, integration of the economies within the region, mitigation against desertification and other benefits that will accrue as a result of reduction in carbon emission,” Kyari added.
He said the NNPC will facilitate the continuous supply of gas and provide other enablers such as the required land for the first compressor station for the pipeline to be deployed in Nigeria which is among the thirteen stations earmarked along the pipeline route.
Kyari said NNPC is well-positioned to progress the project by leveraging its experience and technical capabilities ranging from gas production, pro-cessing, transmission and marketing as well as its vast experience in executing major gas infrastructure projects in Nigeria.
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 of Nigeria and the Kingdom of Morocco.
It is aimed at monetizing Nigeria’s abundant natural gas resources, thereby generating additional revenue for the Country, diversifying Nigeria’s gas export routes and eliminating gas flaring in 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 (MEP) that originates from Algeria (via Morocco), all the way to Spain.