In his 47th Green March speech, King Mohammed VI praised the gas pipeline project, which will supply West Africa and Europe

El impulso real marroquí al gasoducto Marruecos-Nigeria

PHOTO/ARCHIVO - Mohammed VI, King of Morocco on his throne

The King of Morocco, in his speech to the nation on the occasion of the 47th anniversary of the Green March, revived the project to build a gas pipeline between the Kingdom and Nigeria, expressing his commitment to boost the prosperity of West Africa, "Morocco decides to promote as soon as possible the project of the gas pipeline with Nigeria", which will run more than 7,000 kilometres along the west coast, crossing the coasts of 13 countries (Ivory Coast, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea Conakry, Guinea Bissau, Gambia, Senegal, Mauritania and finally Morocco) of the African continent, ending its route in Europe. 

The Alawi monarch stressed the importance of the gas pipeline that will connect his country with Nigeria, emphasising that its benefits are not limited to Morocco, but that it is a strategic project that benefits the countries of West Africa and Europe, in a clear indication that this pipeline will be the most realistic option and the closest to Europe. "In addition to Morocco and Mauritania, the pipeline offers the fifteen member countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) opportunities and guarantees in terms of energy security and socio-economic and industrial development," he said. In this way, energy will be paid for at a lower cost and some sectors, such as the electricity and industrial sectors, will be relieved of their high consumption payments. 


The signing of the Nigeria-Morocco Project Memorandum (NMGP) between King Mohammed VI and Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, announced at the end of 2016, took place in a context of maximum rivalry between the Kingdom and Algeria, which is the main gas exporter in North Africa and the seventh in the world. Following the breakdown of relations between the two countries in the summer of 2021, Rabat has sought to diversify its sources, until in July 2022 a full understanding was signed for the development of the Morocco-Nigeria project whose final construction date was not specified.Mohamed Bouden, head of Morocco's Atlas Centre for the Analysis of Political and Institutional Indicators, considered that a project of this scale should represent a vital artery, as data for security and stability and opportunities for large-scale integration and sustainable development in West Africa.

Actions such as those being taken by Algeria make both Morocco and the Europeans fear that it will mix the gas issue with political positions and conditioning, as it did with Spain when it tried to stop its trade and economic pacts in order to force it to change its position on the Western Sahara issue. Analysts believe that Europe will work to find a more reliable and secure alternative to Algeria, and will find in the Morocco-Nigeria gas pipeline a real opportunity to bet on, bearing in mind that Algeria's proposal to build a pipeline connecting it to Nigeria is nothing more than a reaction to the agreement that will make Morocco an important transit point for Nigerian gas. "Given the continental dimension of the Nigeria-Morocco pipeline, we also see it as a structured project linking Africa and Europe", the Moroccan monarch continued. 

Atalayar_Gasoducto Marruecos-Nigeria

In his speech, the Alawi king welcomed the progress in the realisation of the project, while welcoming the support of regional and international financial institutions that have expressed their desire to support this mega-project. "We reaffirm our receptiveness to any form of fruitful partnership aimed at implementing this important African project," he said. In his speech, Mohamed VI urged the private sector to increase its investment in Western Sahara by "focusing more on social projects". The King of Morocco welcomed the fact that 80% of the commitment rate of the 7 billion dollars earmarked for the implementation of economic and social projects in the provinces of Laayoune and Dakhla had been met. 


From the European perspective, the project is essential to alleviate the old continent's dependence on gas and oil from Russia, as it is expected that more than 5 billion cubic metres of gas will reach Morocco. Once the gas reaches the Kingdom through the connection of the two pipelines, it will reach Europe directly through the Maghreb-Europe pipeline.