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Africa : HM the King, Nigerian Pres. Launch Construction Project of Gas Pipeline Linking Nigeria to Morocco

Saturday, 03 December 2016

HM King Mohammed VI and president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, H.E. Muhammadu Buhari, chaired, on Saturday 3 december 2016, in Abuja presidential Palace, the launch ceremony of a project to construct a regional gas pipeline which will link the gas resources of Nigeria and several other west African countries to Morocco.

The two leaders also chaired the signing ceremony of 14 cooperation agreements involving the sectors of investment, training, youth capacity-building, hydrocarbons and mining, tourism, banking, finances, insurance and logistics.

At the beginning of this ceremony, foreign ministers of both countries Salaheddine Mezouar and Geoffrey Onyeama read out the joint statement related to the project of building a gas pipeline linking Nigeria to Morocco.

In this statement, the two parties underlined that, on the occasion of the visit by HM King Mohammed VI to Nigeria, and following the talks with His Excellency president Muhammadu Buhari in Marrakesh on the sidelines of the COP22 and in Abuja, the Kingdom of Morocco and the Federal Republic of Nigeria decided to study and take concrete measures for the construction of a regional gas pipeline which will link the gas resources of Nigeria and several other west African countries to Morocco.

As a major project meant to boost regional economic integration, the

pipeline will be designed with the participation of all concerned parties with the aim of speeding up electrification projects in the whole region, serving as a basis to set up a competitive regional market for electricity, likely to be linked to the European market of energy, to develop integrated industrial hubs in the sub-region in sectors as industry, food-processing and fertilizers, in order to draw foreign capital, improve the competitiveness of exports and spur local transformation of natural resources available for national and international markets, they said.

Important business opportunities will be generated by this project for manufacturers and investors, the ministers said.

By promoting economic integration, based on positive complementarities, sustainable synergies and inclusive approaches, this south-south platform will step up structural transformation of the region's national economies, putting all the region on the path of a stronger growth, they added, noting that the two heads of states agreed to set up a bilateral coordination body tasked with supervising this large-scale project. They also lauded the fact that such strategic cooperation came into being in Africa.

Afterwards, executive director of Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) Uche Orji noted that this strategic project mirrors the will of the two heads of states to turn cooperation between the two countries into a model for south-south partnership.

To ensure the full success of this major project, Nigeria and Morocco decided to join hands and cooperate closely through their respective sovereign funds, Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority and Ithmar Al Mawarid (ITHMAR CAPITAL).

For his part, director general of Ithmar Al Mawarid (ITHMAR CAPITAL) Tarik Senhaji said that this project reflects the vision of HM the King for an Africa that has its destiny in hand, adding that Africa has a strong economic potential and boasts unique opportunities for investors.

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