The Nigerian government on Wednesday approved a proposal for the construction of a gas pipeline connecting Nigeria and Morocco.
Africa’s gas reserves have come under increasing scrutiny Since the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as the European Union seeks alternatives to its gas supplies from Russia.
Four years ago, Morocco’s King Mohammed VI and Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari agreed on a mega-project to transport gas along the Atlantic coast over 3,000 km. An agreement between the two countries was first signed in 2016.
Nigeria’s Minister of Petroleum Timipre Sylva announced on Wednesday that the federal government had given “its approval for the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) to enter into an agreement with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for the construction” of this gas pipeline.
The minister said the project was still “at the initial technical design stage”, which should determine its cost. “It is at this point that we will talk about financing,” he said.
The pipeline would be an extension of a gas pipeline that has been carrying gas from southern Nigeria to Benin, Ghana and Togo since 2010.
“This pipeline must pass through 15 West African countries to Morocco, and from Morocco to Spain and Europe,” said the minister.
The routing of Nigerian gas to North Africa has long been a source of interest, with Algeria having led discussions in 2002 for a similar pipeline project crossing the Sahel region.