Photo/NAN: Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, left, introduces a Nigerian official to King Mohammed VI in Rabat.
Nigeria and Morocco have strengthened their business relationship by signing two agreements in Rabat on Monday.
The first was the Joint Initiative on the Morocco –Nigeria Gas Regional Pipeline.
Tagged ‘The Wonder of Africa’ the pipeline project has historic significance because it is designed by ‘Africans for Africans’ with a direct impact on 300 million people through the speeding up of electrification projects in West Africa; thus underpinning the creation of a competitive electricity regional market.
The scope of the Memorandum of Understanding, which was signed by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines (ONHYM), was to determine the modalities of undertaking a feasibility study and a Front-End Engineering and Design (FEED) study relating to a gas pipeline from Nigeria to Morocco.
It also specified equal partnership in governance, management and financing of the project. The timeline for both studies is two years from the date of signing. Interested third party countries will be allowed to join.
The second bilateral agreement was on the Second Phase of the Fertiliser Initiative.
The first phase was the supply of a cargo of phosphate by Morocco to Nigeria after eight weeks of its signing.
This supply led to the resuscitation of 11 blending plants which produced about 1.3 million tonnes of fertiliser; creation of 50,000 (direct) and 150,000 (indirect) jobs while farmers have access to the quantity of fertiliser they need.
The second phase will enable the maximisation of local fertiliser production through the creation of platform for basic chemical products, secure the Nigeria’s market’s fertiliser supply for competitive prices and reinforce local distribution channels.
According to the Foreign Minister of Morocco, Nasser Bourita who presented the broad guidelines of the projects the signing of the agreements reflects the shared vision of the two leaders, President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) and King Mohammed VI, the King of Morocco in favour of a sustainable, active and solidarity based joint development for Africa.
Both projects were initiated during the Royal visit of the king to Nigeria in December, 2016.
The ceremony, held at the palace of King Mohammed VI, had the King in attendance.
There was also a high-powered delegation led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs ,Mr Godfrey Onyeama; the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbe; his counterpart in the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Kayode Fayemi; the Governor of Jigawa State and Chairman, Presidential Committee on Fertiliser, Abubakar Badaru.
Representatives of some other African countries were also in attendance.