The Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline (NMGP) Project will open new opportunities for Nigeria's gas aspirations, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, has said.
Mr Kyari was speaking in Abuja on Tuesday on the benefits of the project at a stakeholders' engagement between the NNPC, its Moroccan partners, the Morocco National Office for Hydrocarbons & Mines (ONHYM), and the executives of the international oil companies operating in Nigeria.
The meeting followed high-level discussions on the Pipeline Cooperation Agreement (PCA) for the NMGP project.
The NNPC GMD signed the agreement between both countries during separate visits by their leaders, President Muhammadu Buhari and King Hassan VI, respectively.
The PCA will facilitate the establishment of a gas pipeline to convey Nigeria's gas from the Niger Delta to Morocco through the West African sub-region into Europe.
Mr Kyari said at the moment, both countries are planning to extend to Morocco the sub-regional pipeline that has been transporting gas from Nigeria to Benin, Togo and Ghana since 2010.
Shortly after the engagement with the representatives of the multinationals, Mr Kyari described the project as strategic for Nigeria, as it would provide ample market for the country's abundant gas resources.
"We have a lot of stranded natural gas resources, particularly in the deepwaters that we need to put on the table. This project will also enable us have more gas into our domestic gas so that we can improve power supply and gas to industry," Mr Kyari said.
Along the pipeline's corridor all the way to Morocco and into Europe, he said there was a huge potential for the development of the West African subcontinent and part of North Africa.
"By doing this, we (Nigeria) are also growing the economies of these countries along this pipeline and eventually ensuring peace and security, which are necessary for the economic growth of these countries," he added.
Mr Kyari restated the government's commitment to the project and reassured the IOCs that issues around fiscal terms were being handled by the government.
He also enjoined them to be part of the project as a matter of responsibility.
Earlier, the Director-General of the ONHYM, Amina Benkhadra, assured the NNPC of the Moroccan government's total support towards the successful implementation of the project.
She said the IOCs needed to be brought up to speed on the project as they are critical to it.