Nigeria Signs Morocco Deal Twice
Nigeria and Morocco signed a memorandum of understanding on a gas pipeline during Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari's visit to Morocco June 11.
Nigeria would provide gas to countries along its planned route including Morocco – and possibly Europe. According to the Nigerian presidency statement, the Nigeria Morocco Gas Pipeline (NMGP) is designed to be 5,660 km long, reduce gas flaring in Nigeria, encourage diversification of energy resources in the country, and boost job creation.
However, in December 2016, NGW reported that during Moroccan King Mohammed VI's visit to Nigeria, the same MoU was signed by both countries.
Efforts by NGW to contact the Nigerian president’s media office for an explanation of why the same MoU was signed in a short span of time were unsuccessful. However, what is clear is that Nigeria remains without the capacity to make use of her gas resources as there is not enough infrastructure - one reason why the project has not progressed since 2016.
The Nigerian government is carrying out a feasibility study on the 5,660km gas pipeline that would export gas to selected countries but did not mention the cost of the project. The feasibility study, according to the state house, will be completed by July 2018.
Three months ago, forty non-governmental organisations expressed their opposition to the mega-project, amid claims that such a project could easily cost $40bn or more.
Although Nigeria has large deposits of natural gas, corruption and the lack of political willpower and know-how have stymied their development. In the past, mega-projects announced by the government have been quietly forgotten, like a gas industrial park in Ogidiben, Delta state, touted around February 2017.
Morocco too has dithered for two years over a planned tender for construction of a large LNG import terminal, related gas pipelines, and two large gas-fired power plants. It has successfully expanded its renewable generation capacity, but now needs gas-fired capacity to balance this.