President Muhammadu Buhari has called on the United Kingdom and the European Union countries to invest in the proposed Nigeria – Morocco, 4000km pipeline project.
The gas pipeline project is designed to bring Nigerian gas – the largest reserves in Africa – via Morocco, to Europe.
The President, who spoke to Bloomberg in an interview, said the West needs to build on the long-term partnership between Nigeria and the UK as well as the European Union on green energy policy.
He expressed the hope that the gas pipeline project, when completed would help to address gas supply crisis in Europe. ”We need long term partnership not inconsistency and contradiction on green energy policy from the UK and European Union.
”Investment is hampered by their broad-brush moratorium on overseas gas projects, while at home the same projects are classified as green.
”It does not help their energy security, it does not help Nigeria’s economy, and it does not help the environment. It is hypocrisy that must end.
”To change, the UK and EU countries should invest in our planned 4000km pipeline to bring Nigerian gas – the largest reserves in Africa – via Morocco, then onto Europe,” Buhari told the news agency.
A fortnight ago, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) entered into an agreement with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) as part of the new plan to expand the project.
By July 1, the NNPC will become a Limited Liability Company as proposed by an establishment Act. From then, and as a public quoted company, NNPC will be subject to robust auditing and commercial disclosure obligations.
”It will help stimulate investment and boost transparency, where corruption has deterred the former and stymied the latter. My administration is the first to pass this landmark reform in our oil and gas sector, after two decades of predecessors’ failure to do so – no doubt due to vested interests,” President Buhari stated.
He regretted that criminality and terrorism in Nigeria’s oil-producing regions had continued to hamper oil production. He, therefore, called on the Western allies to sanction all terrorist groups operating in the Niger Delta region and other oil producing states in the South-East and South South zones.
”It would help if our western allies designated IPOB as a terrorist group, given their complicity in damage to pipelines and infrastructure,” he said.
According to him, Nigeria’s effort in fighting terrorism and oil theft is yielding results hence crude oil wells that had to be closed due to criminality have now re-opened.
”With these efforts, OPEC has raised Nigeria’s production quota for next month,” he informed.