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The Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline Project has advanced with the signing of four Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) to ensure progress and strategic direction of the 25 billion dollars Trans-Atlantic gas pipeline project.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the four MoUs were signed on Friday in Abuja at the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Headquarters during the project’s first Steering Committee Meeting.

The agreements were signed between the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd), Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines (ONHYM) of Morocco and the Société Nationale des Opérations Pétrolières of Cote d’Ivoire (PETROCI),

Others include 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).

Once completed, the project will enhance the monetisation of the natural gas resources of the affected African countries and also offer a new alternative export route to Europe.

Malam Mele Kyari, Group Chief Executive Officer, NNPC Ltd, in his remarks disclosed that currently, FEED Phase II Study was at over 70 percent in tendering process for the surveys, with clear visibility in project funding.

Kyari listed the surveys as the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) and the Land Acquisition and Resettlement Policy Framework (LARPF).

“We are also pleased to welcome our counterparts from NOCAL of Liberia, PETROCI of Cote D’Ivoire, SNH Benin and SONAP of Guinea for committing to collaborate with us on this project through the execution of MoU.

“This is a clear demonstration of the commitment of the Host Governments, the ECOWAS Commission, and the National Oil Companies to deliver on this strategic project, create wealth and value for our countries and other stakeholders.

“As you are aware, our collective decisions and actions guided by our shared vision would extend far beyond gas supply to spur prosperity and economic integration between our nations,’’ he said.

Kyari, while expressing appreciation to President Bola Tinubu for entrusting NNPC Ltd. with the strategic project, acknowledged ECOWAS Commission’s role in co-hosting the meeting in addition to planned execution of the Treaty, Host Government Agreements and other enablers.

Also speaking, the Director-General of ONHYM, Madam Amina Benkhadra said that the gathering represented 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 Digitisation, Mr Sédiko Douka said the pipeline was designed from Nigeria to Morocco, passing through Atlantic Coast States, with inland ramps to supply the Interland Countries, possibly to Europe.

“The project will strengthen our electricity production/generation capacity, stimulate industrial, agricultural development, and contribute to the energy transition by using a source of energy that is cleaner than other fossil fuels,’’ he said.

He recalled that the Steering Committee, which was enlarged to include other stakeholders, was part of the dynamics of the MoU signed between the ECOWAS Commission, NNPC and ONHYM on Sept. 15, 2022, in Rabat, Morocco.

He recalled that ECOWAS was engaged further to the instructions of the Heads of State and Government in the development of the West Africa Gas Pipeline Extension Project (WAGPEP), through a feasibility study approved in 2018.

He said at the same time, Nigeria and Morocco, through NNPC Ltd and ONHYM, also agreed to initiate the Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline Project (NMGP).

“The similarities between the two projects soon became apparent, and so, the need for synergy to pool efforts in order to achieve a single gas pipeline project.

“Today, we can assure you that the ECOWAS member States are fully committed to this structuring Project.

“As proof, the statutory bodies of ECOWAS have ratified the decision to merge the projects into a single one,’’ he said.

The ECOWAS-ONHYM-NNPC Steering Committee meeting for development of a single gas pipeline had representatives from Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, The Gambia, Senegal, Mauritania, and Morocco. (NAN)

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