NMGP will boost economic, industrial growth of African countries- expert

By Yusuf Yunus

An oil and gas expert, Dr Ayodele Oni, says the ongoing Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipelines (NMGP) project will boost the economic and industrial growth of all countries that signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU).

 

Oni told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Lagos that the project would unify the economies of the relevant countries.

NAN recalls that four more countries, on June 16, signed up for the 5,000Km Nigeria-Morocco gas pipelines project, estimated to cost about 25 billion dollars to construct.

The project, which is an extension of the West African Gas pipeline, now has 13 countries on board.

The new countries, which signed a MoU at the ECOWAS secretariat, are Republic of Benin, Guinea, Liberia and Ivory Coast.

Oni, who also a partner, Bloomfield Law Practice, said  the use of natural gas remained an avenue to explore clean energy for power generation.

According to him, the impact of NMGP, if successful, would be the creation of a highly competitive electricity market for Nigeria, and all the other countries who are parties to the project.

“Nigeria, who is the major supplier of natural gas for the project, seeks to hold 50 per cent interest in the project by capital contribution.  It shall be one of the first beneficiaries of the project.

On how it can boost gas utility in Nigeria, Oni said that as the world transitions toward clean energy, the importance of gas could no longer be overlooked.

He said that government had an important role to play, by formulation of favourable policies that would aid the growth of the Nigerian gas market.

“These policies would address prevalent issues such as regulation of pricing for gas to power, unpaid gas supply invoices and pipeline vandalism etc.

“Government can put measures in place to protect pipeline infrastructure, solving the problem of payments owed to gas suppliers and a full deregulation of the gas market.

“We have enough hydrocarbon reserves in Nigeria.

 

“The problem has never been the presence of hydrocarbons but how to maximise the discovery and use of such hydrocarbons,”

 

Oni said that government could come up with policies that would make investments in exploratory activities in Nigeria attractive to potential investors.

 

(NAN)

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