The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) on Friday said it had signed four significant agreements related to the Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline project.
The NNPCL in a statement by Garba Deen Muhammad, the chief corporate communications officer of the company, said the four memoranda of understanding (MoU) were signed on Friday in Abuja as part of the Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline project.
It said these tripartite MOUs were signed between the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) and the Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines (ONHYM) of Morocco on one hand; then the Société Nationale des Opérations Pétrolières of Côte d’Ivoire (PETROCI), 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) on the other hand.
NNPCL explained that these agreements were similar to those signed with ECOWAS on 15 September 2022, Mauritania and Senegal on 15 October 2022, and The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone, and Ghana on 5 December 2022, reaffirming the commitment of the parties to this strategic project.
The NNPCL had last year signed agreements on the gas pipeline project with the National Office of Hydrocarbons and Mines of Morocco and the ECOWAS Commission.
The Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline was proposed in a December 2016 agreement between the NNPCL and the Moroccan Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines.
The Federal Executive Council in June last year authorised the NNPCL to enter into an agreement with ECOWAS for the construction of the pipeline.
The government says the gas pipeline, designed to be 7,000km long, will contribute to accelerating access to energy for all, improving the living conditions of the populations, integrating the economies of the sub-region, and mitigating desertification.
It will further achieve these goals through the provision of a sustainable and reliable gas supply that aligns with the continent’s new environmental commitments while providing Africa with a new economic, political, and strategic dimension.
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.
“Today, another important milestone was achieved at the headquarters of the Economic Community of West African States as four significant Memoranda of Understanding related to the Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline project were signed. Additionally, the project’s steering committee convened to discuss the progress of the project and its strategic direction,” NNPCL said Friday.
“The signings took place on the sidelines of the steering committee meeting of the Nigeria-Morocco Gas pipeline project, which was attended by representatives from ECOWAS and all the participating countries, including Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, The Gambia, Senegal, Mauritania, and Morocco,” the statement added.
In his remarks, the Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPCL, Mele Kyari, thanked President Bola Tinubu and the Nigerian government for entrusting the company with the strategic project as the national energy company.
“As a commercial enterprise, NNPCL sees this project as an opportunity to monetise Nigeria’s abundant hydrocarbon resources, by expanding access to energy to support economic growth, industrialization, and job creation across the African continent and beyond,” Mr Kyari said.
Also speaking, the Director General of ONHYM, Amina Benkhadra, said that the gathering represents a progressive step in ensuring social and economic development through energy security and accessibility geared towards attaining total development of Africa by Africans.
Sédiko Douka, the ECOWAS commissioner for infrastructure, energy and digitisation, said the gas pipeline project is significant as it will help strengthen the region’s electricity production/generation capacity, stimulate industrial and agricultural development, and contribute to the energy transition by using a source of energy that is cleaner than other fossil fuels.
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