ABUJA Dec 3 Nigeria and Morocco have signed a
joint venture to construct a gas pipeline that will connect the
two nations as well as some other African countries to Europe,
Nigeria's minister of foreign affairs said on Saturday.
The agreement was reached during a visit by the Morocco's
King Mohammed to the Nigerian capital Abuja, Geoffrey Onyema,
the minister, said, adding that the pipeline project would be
designed with the participation of all stakeholders.
"In this agreement both countries agreed to study and take
concrete steps toward the promotion of a regional gas pipeline
project that will connect Nigeria's gas resources, those of
several West African countries and Morocco," Onyema told
reporters in Abuja.
Onyema said the project aimed to create a competitive
regional electricity market with the potential to be connected
to the European energy markets.
No timeline was given for when the pipeline construction
work will start and how much it will cost.
Nigeria is rich in hydrocarbons but produces little
electricity, making its industries uncompetitive. Its economy
now faces a recession caused by a plunge in crude prices.
Militants in its oil producing heartland of the Niger Delta
have also blown up pipelines in a quest for a bigger share of
Nigeria's oil wealth, which has cut crude output this year.
"Nigeria and the Kingdom of Morocco also agreed to develop
integrated industrial clusters in the sub-region in sectors such
as manufacturing, Agro-business and fertilizers to attract
foreign capital and improve export competitiveness" the foreign
(Reporting by Felix Onuah; Writing by Chijioke Ohuocha; Editing
by Toby Chopra)