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Nigeria, Morocco seal pact on gas project, fertilizer initiative


Nasser Bourita

The Federal Government and Morocco have sealed pacts to drive the implementation of the gas regional pipeline and fertilizer initiative.According to the Foreign Minister of Morocco, Nasser Bourita who presented the broad guidelines of the projects at the signing of the agreements in Morocco, the shared vision of the two leaders, President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari and King Mohammed VI, the King of Morocco is in favour of a sustainable, active and solidarity based joint development for Africa.

He noted that both projects were initiated during the Royal visit of the king to Nigeria in December 2016.Tagged ‘The Wonder of Africa’, the Joint Initiative on the Morocco –Nigeria Gas Regional Pipeline has been described as one designed by ‘Africans for Africans’ with a direct impact on 300 million people through the speeding up of electrification projects in West Africa; thus serving a basis for the creation of a competitive electricity regional market.

The scope of the Memorandum of Understanding, which was signed by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines (ONHYM), was to determine the modalities of undertaking a feasibility study and a Front-End Engineering and Design (FEED) study relating to a gas pipeline from Nigeria to Morocco.

The pact also specified equal partnership in governance, management and financing of the project, with a timeline for both studies pegged at two years from the date of signing.

The second bilatéral agreement borders on the second phase of the fertiliser initiative. ‘The first phase was the supply of a cargo of phosphate by Morocco to Nigeria after eight weeks of its signing.

This supply led to the resuscitation of 11 blending plants which produced about 1.3 million tonnes of fertiliser; creation of 50,000 (direct) and 150,000 (indirect) jobs while farmers have access to the quantity of fertiliser they need.

“The second phase will enable the maximisation of local fertiliser production through the creation of platform for basic chemical products, secure the Nigeria’s market’s fertiliser supply for competitive prices and reinforce local distribution channels.

“The ceremony, held at the palace of King Mohammed VI, had him in attendance as well as a high- powered delegation led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Godfrey Onyeama, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbe, his counterpart in the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Kayode Fayemi, the Governor of Jigawa State and Chairman, Presidential Committee on Fertiliser. Alhaji Abubakar Badaru. Other African countries were also in attendance”, a statement on the pact explained.

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Nasser Bourita
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