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40 non-governmental organisations reject $20 billion Nigeria-Morocco gas project

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NNPC, South-East govs to revamp depot, Aba-Enugu pipeline
National and international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have called on Nigeria and other African countries to dump the $20 billion Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline project, saying it is not in the interest of Nigerians.

A statement signed by ATTAC Morocco, Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), Nigeria; Peoples Advancement Centre, Nigeria; Justica Ambiental, Mozambique and 36 other groups and made available to some newsmen in Calabar yesterday, said the Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline tagged “The Wonder of Africa” but civil society groups in Africa and around the world see it as “the wounding of Africa,” should be called off in the interest of the people and the planet.

They said: “In December 2016, an announcement was made of a nearly 5,000 km Nigeria-Morocco offshore gas pipeline which at today’s prices will cost an estimated $20 billion. In reality, the actual cost will likely be much higher. This pipeline would be a continuation of the existing 678 kilometres long West African Gas pipeline (WAGP) that has been in service since 2010. It aims to serve 12 countries on the African continent and some 300 million potential consumers, with a possible extension to the Europe.”

The organisations said they are concerned about this project because “while the acceleration of global warming exceeds all expectations and greenhouse gas emissions have set a new record in 2016, the construction of this pipeline can only go in the direction of an increase of extraction and consumption of fossil resources, the main causes of global warming.

In another development, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and South-East Governors, led by Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, are making move to ease petroleum products demand of the entire region and beyond.

The decision, which was announced yesterday by the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Maikanti Baru, would see the restoration of Enugu depot and Aba-Enugu pipeline.

Ugwuanyi, who spoke during a courtesy call to him by Baru, said that he would rally other governors from the region to ensure that the Aba-Enugu pipeline is secured from the unwholesome activities of vandals, adding that he was not properly informed as to why the Enugu depot was not in operation.

He assured that the Enugu State task force on petroleum products would work with NNPC officials and relevant security agencies to ascertain the exact incident spots with a view to securing the pipeline.

Baru, who lamented the incessant acts of vandalism on the Aba-Enugu products pipeline, said about 700 breaches were recorded on the pipeline.

According to him, the situation has hampered efficient supply and distribution of petroleum products not only in the state, but also in the entire South-East region.

He stated that though the Aba-Enugu pipeline was repaired, it still had to be shut down as the corporation hardly gets up to 50 per cent of the products pumped.

Baru described Enugu depot as a major NNPC supply and distribution infrastructure in the entire South-East region, which requires the support of all stakeholders to bring it back to life.

According to him, the Osisioma and Nsirimo areas (both in Abia State) as well as Ishiagwu (in Ebonyi State) were the major vandalism flash-points along the line where illegal connections for diversion of products had been observed almost on a daily basis.

He, therefore, called on the governor to rally his counterparts in the region to work with the NNPC and security agencies to secure the strategic pipeline, which he said, would go a long way in reviving efficient supply and distribution of petroleum products in the area.

“This depot is not only strategic to the South-East, it also serves as a bridge to Makurdi depot in the North-Central as well as the Yola depot in the North-East,” he noted.

The GMD also charged the governor to collaborate with relevant government agencies to enforce the sale of petrol at filling stations in the state at the government-regulated price of N145.


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