Nigeria, Morocco take steps to actualise coastal gas pipeline despite ECOWAS rift

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Nigeria and Morocco have entered into an initial feasibility studies agreement to advance the construction of a new coastal pipeline that would take gas all the way from Escravos to Morocco, THISDAY reports.

It was learnt that following the decision to build a new gas line between the two countries as was reached during the visit of King Muhammed VI of Morocco to President Muhammadu Buhari in December 2016, funds for the project’s initial feasibility studies have been provided by both countries.

This was in addition to the assemblage of experts from both countries, with the NNPC at the forefront of the studies for Nigeria. Interestingly, this is coming at a time when the request by Morocco to join the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has unsettled Nigeria, the region’s economic power, as Morocco joining could whittle down Nigeria’s influence in the region.

Despite this brewing diplomatic tension, the Coastal Gas Pipeline project is of great importance to both countries, with reports noting the tacit priority placed on the project by the federal government even to the detriment of the $12 billion Trans Sahara gas pipeline, which from its conception would take gas from Nigeria to Algeria and then Spain.