Nigeria: OPEC, Russia, Others Ready to Invest in Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline Project - Sylva

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva yesterday disclosed that the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia are some of the international bodies ready to buy into the Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline project.

The Minister who made this known to newsmen at the State House, Abuja, after the Sallah homage paid on President Muhammadu Buhari, however, noted that the project would not be completed by the current administration.

According to the minister, the project, which is an extension of the West African Gas Pipeline project and already delivering gas from Nigeria up to Ghana, was still at the level of studies and finding funding partners, to take it to Morocco where it would connect the European market.

Providing an update on the project, Sylva said, "the Nigerian, Morocco gas pipeline is a continuation of the West African Gas Pipeline project, which has already gotten to Ghana, it is already operational connecting Nigeria to Benin Republic, to Togo and to Ghana."

"We want to continue that same pipeline all the way to Morocco down the coast. Right now, we are still at the level of studies, and of course, we are at the level of securing the funding for this project and a lot of people are indicating interest", he explained.

Commenting on securing funding partners, the minister said, "we have not totally concluded on the financial arrangement. I have just said that a lot of people are showing interest. There is a lot of international interest, investors interest in the project, but we have not really identified investors that we want to go with.

"For the moment, the two investors in this project are Nigeria and Morocco, we are the two countries that are ready to come together to develop this pipeline and a lot of other investors are also interested in having a piece of the action.

"The Russians were with me in the office last week, they are very desirous to invest in this project and there're lots of other people who are also desirous to invest in the project because this is a pipeline that is going to take our gas all through a lot of countries in Africa and also, all the way to the edge of the African continent where we can have access to the European market as well.

"OPEC is interested in the project and has indicated its interest, but there are a lot of other people that have indicated interest as well. We are at the level of study and the studies will let us know how much investment will be needed for this and every other thing before we can now approach investors that are interested as well".

On whether the Buhari-led administration would be able to complete the project, Sylva said "this administration cannot finish the Nigerian/Morocco gas pipeline, but we can at least get it at the point of starting before we leave".

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