By Tobias Pius
President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria and King Mohammed VI of Morocco have expressed their common determination to pursue and actualise their strategic joint projects, notably the creation of the Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline, as well as a Moroccan fertilizer plant in Nigeria.
Morocco’s Royal Cabinet issued a statement informing that the two leaders via a telephone conversation expressed this commitment, and also welcomed the bilateral relations both countries have had since 2016.
The Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline project is one of the most ambitious in West Africa. On completion, it will cover a 5,660-kilometer-long route, contouring the Atlantic coast from Lagos, in southwestern Nigeria, to Tangier, in northern Morocco, and will transport natural gas from Nigeria through 11 West African countries, up to Morocco and Spain.
The project was first announced in December 2016, on the sidelines of King Mohammed VI’s visit to Nigeria, which opened a new page in bilateral ties between the two nations. Both Morocco’s National Office for Hydrocarbons and Mines (ONHYM) and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) later penned an agreement on the project in 2017 which led to President Buhari visiting Morocco in June 2018, to affirm the new momentum.
A feasibility study on the project in 2019, by the two partners estimated that the project would be wrapped up in stages in 25 years, also estimating the cost at approximately $25 billion.
King Mohammed VI and President Buhari also discussed the fertilizer plant, a proposed subsidiary of Moroccan phosphate company OCP’s landmark project in Nigeria, which was also announced during the King’s visit to Abuja.
Morocco is set to supply the Nigerian plant phosphoric acid to produce fertilizers for the benefit of local farmers. It is worth a whopping $1.3 billion and located in south-eastern Nigeria with its operational date set at the ending of 2023. The company has also recently launched several other initiatives which include soil testing, training programmes for local farmers, and agronomic trials.