Moroccan monarch, King Mohammed VI has reiterated the kingdom’s commitment towards the gas pipeline project with Nigeria.
He stressed the potential benefits that the project could bring not only to Africa but also Europe.
The monarch made his remarks during a speech marking the 48th anniversary of the Green March – an annual event that celebrates Moroccans’ march against the Spanish colonization of Morocco’s southern provinces.
The Green March was a mass demonstration in November 1975, coordinated by the Moroccan government and military, to force Spain to hand over the disputed, autonomous semi-metropolitan Province of Spanish Sahara to Morocco.
At that time, the Spanish government was preparing to abandon the territory as part of the decolonisation of Africa, just as it had previously granted independence to Equatorial Guinea in 1968
In his speech, King Mohammed VI emphasized the large-scale projects involving Morocco, including the pipeline project with Nigeria, which aims to benefit over 400 million people in West Africa
The pipeline is set to connect 11 countries in the region to benefit from Nigerian gas sources. Reiterating Morocco’s efforts in contributing to African development, the King acknowledged the challenges that hamper African countries’ advancement.
“The region along the Atlantic coast suffers from a significant deficit in infrastructure, and investment, despite skilled human capital and abundant natural resources,” the King said, stressing that Morocco has been working with other African countries to tackle the situation.
“The Morocco-Nigeria gas pipeline strategic project is part of that endeavor,” he added, saying that the project is designed to promote regional integration as well as to boost joint economic growth.
“It will also guarantee energy supplies for European countries,” the monarch asserted.
Morocco is set to host over 1,600 kilometers of the project, which is 5,600 kilometers long in total.
Several reports have emphasized the importance of the project, stressing that investors are expected to dedicate a budget of $25 billion to carry it out.
Initiated first by King Mohammed VI and former Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari in 2016, the pipeline seeks to promote regional integration as well as reinforcing African energy security.
The project is also generating unwavering support from many countries, which signed Memoranda of Understanding with Morocco’s and Nigeria’s petroleum and hydrocarbon companies.
Last year, several other countries signed agreements with Morocco, including Mauritania, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Sierra Leone, and Ghana.
This is not the first time that King Mohammed VI celebrates the project as a milestone for Africa. During last year’s Green March speech, said that the gas pipeline is a ”project for peace for African economic integration and for co-development: a project for the present and for the future generations.”