President Muhammadu Buhari has returned to Abuja after two-day official visit to Morocco where he was received and accorded ‘five-star’ Royal reception by the Moroccan leader, King Mohammed VI.
The presidential aircraft conveying the President and some members of his entourage back home from Rabat, Morocco, landed at the presidential wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe Internationsal Airport, Abuja, at about 5.15p.m.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Governors of Ebonyi and Jigawa, Dave Umahi and Badaru Abubakar respectively who were part of the President’s entourage to Morocco; the Inspector-General of Police, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris and other top government functionaries lined up to receive President Buhari at the airport.
While in Morocco, President Buhari and King Mohammed VI of Morocco held bilateral talks where Nigeria and the Kingdom of Morocco signed three agreements, which included a regional gas pipeline that will see Nigeria providing gas to countries in West Africa sub-region that extend to Morocco and Europe.
The two African leaders also focused on strengthening economic relations in gas resource development, global investments and agricultural training and management.
The feasibility study of the agreement on the pipeline would be concluded by July 2018, while construction of the pipeline would be phased based on needs of countries over the next 25 years.
The 5,660 km long Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline (NMGP) will reduce gas flaring in Nigeria, encourage diversification of energy resources and cut down poverty through the creation of more job opportunities.
The NMGP will further encourage utilisation of gas in the sub-region for cooking, and discourage desertification.
In a communiqué issued at the end of the two-day President’s official visit, Nigeria and the Kingdom of Morocco affirmed their will to create South-South cooperation model.
To this end, the two countries welcomed the significant progress made in various areas of cooperation, such as agriculture, fertiliser production, energy infrastructure and mining.
The communique, which was issued in Abuja on Monday, said King Mohammed VI and President Buhari had noted with satisfaction the milestones achieved and underscored their commitment to the agreement signed on the Regional Gas Pipeline.
The pipeline will connect Nigeria’s gas resources, those of some West African countries and Morocco, thereby fostering integration and development of countries in the West African region.
The two Heads of State also noted progress made in other areas of the bilateral cooperation, as evidenced by the Agreement between OCP of Morocco and the Fertiliser Producers and Suppliers Association of Nigeria to invest in fertiliser production.
They noted that already the Memorandum of Understanding between OCP and the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority on the establishment of a Basic Chemicals Platform, specifically to develop a significant Ammonia Production Plant had been signed.
President Buhari congratulated King Mohammed VI on Morocco’s election to the Peace and Security Council of the African Union. He also congratulated him on the successful completion of his mandate as African Leader on Migration Issues.