Since King Mohammed VI’s visit to Abuja in 2016, Morocco and Nigeria opened a new chapter under the motto of stronger bilateral relations in favor of regional integration and African south-south cooperation.
A forum was hosted in Rabat on November 14 bringing together investors in the agricultural and energy sectors, two cooperation areas that are key to Nigeria’s and the region’s food and energy security.
This transnational project, approved since 2016 by King Mohammed VI and President Mohammadu Buhari, will not only offer an outlet for Nigerian gas and boost Morocco’s gas supply but will also be conducive to economic development in the sub-region and act as an incentive for the integration of the Western African energy market.
The pipeline will channel Nigerian gas up to Europe offering the old continent an alternative source of supply.
Feasibility studies have so far highlighted the technical and economic viability of the pipeline project that could attract world gas giants.
The pipeline is part of a Moroccan investment push in Africa, which was intensified after the Kingdom regained its place in the African Union in 2017.
Speaking at the Nigerian-Moroccan business forum in Rabat, Farouk Garba from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation said the pipeline will offer new openings to sell Nigerian gas and would help the country diversify its customers.
The project is also beneficial for the electrification efforts on the continent.
With the largest population in Africa, Nigeria is struggling to achieve its food security, an area in which Morocco proved to be a very useful partner through supplying the country with customized fertilizers at an affordable price to help unlock the full potential of the country’s agriculture.
Speaking at the same event, Mohammed Hettiti director general of OCP Nigeria highlighted the centrality of the agricultural sector in Nigeria saying that OCP is helping the Nigerian farming sector through offering customized fertilizers.
In this respect, he said OCP will in the short-term build a fertilizer plant worth $1.3 billion in the country along with three blending units.
He also pointed to other OCP initiatives in terms of training farmers and promoting digitalization.
For his part, Agriculture Minister Aziz Akhannouch said that south-South cooperation is part of the Green Morocco plan which aims at developing the sector and increasing its size and exports.