Nigeria plans gas export to Morocco

Oil pipelines

Oscarline Onwuemenyi
16 Mach 2017, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Chairman, Presidential Committee on Fertiliser Initiative, Muhammed Badaru ‎Abubakar, has disclosed plans by the Federal Government to commence gas export to Morocco.

He made this known on Tuesday when the President of Fertiliser Producer and Suppliers Association of Nigeria (FEPSAN), Mr. Thomas Etuh, paid him a courtesy visit, during the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative tour in Dutse.

Abubakar, who is also the Governor of Jigawa State, said the plan will include signing an agreement with other nations who may need the natural resource along the Sub-Sahara region to the final destination country.

“The Sahara gas pipeline is a project we are planning to transport gas from here down to Morocco, then passing through so many countries and opening up use of gas in those countries across sub-Sahara,” he said.

Asked if the new project will affect the initial agreement on the supply of phosphate from Morocco, the chairman explained that the supply of the raw material for fertilizer blending was a different agreement solely on agriculture.

“The supply of phosphate for fertilizer blending is a different agreement and the trans-Sahara pipeline is another project,” he added.

The governor added that about 4000 tonnes of fertilizer have been procured for distribution in the state.

While he stressed the importance of legislation for agricultural projects, the governor said it was unnecessary to push for any law.

“It is always good if there is the need for legislation. But this is purely a business venture. I don’t believe it requires a legislation. We will do whatever agreement expected of us according to the Nigerian law‎ and the government of Morocco will do theirs. The countries that our pipelines will pass across, we will also use our gas and agree with us according to their rule.

“I don’t believe there is any special legislation for us to sell our product,” the governor added.

Earlier, FEPSAN President lauded efforts of the chairman to ensure the programme was successful.

He condemned actions of Notore, Indorama and selected Lebanese organisations, who he accused of frustrating the programme.

Nigeria and Morocco in December last year agreed to build a pipeline to carry Nigerian natural gas to North Africa and Europe in a major initiative to boost energy production across West Africa and create industrial hubs to attract foreign investment, a joint statement said Wednesday.

The two countries’ sovereign wealth funds will jointly develop the pipeline to run about 4,000 kilometers (2,500 miles) along the West African coast from Nigeria to Morocco on a route yet to be decided, it said. Coastal countries include Benin, Togo, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Gambia, Senegal and Mauritania.

The coastline then runs through the disputed territory of Western Sahara before reaching Morocco.

“The Trans-African Pipeline will improve access to energy across West Africa … helping address one of the region’s most significant barriers to development … (and) will strengthen energy exports to Europe, linking Nigerian gas to the European energy market through Morocco,” the statement said.

The agreement was signed during a visit to Nigeria this week by King Mohammed VI of Morocco, who has been on a charm offensive in sub-Saharan Africa since his country in September asked to be re-admitted to the African Union. Morocco left the 53-state continental body in 1984 when the AU recognized Western Sahara as the independent Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.

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