By Uthman Salami
Nigeria is set to construct gas pipeline from Nigeria to Morocco this was revealed during an exclusive interview with Nigerian NewsDirect in Abuja last week.
The Chief Operating Officer of the gas and power of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Engineer Yusuf Usman revealed that the federal government has concluded plans to construct a gas pipeline from Nigeria to Morocco
Usman made this revelation while answering questions during exclusive interview in Abuja.
According to him, the initiative to construct gas pipeline linking Nigeria to Morocco was birthed from the “Presidential Fertilizers initiative” where the presidents of Nigeria and Morocco had signed a collaborative memorandum of understanding (MoU).
He said the fertilizer initiative of the two countries have left a huge impact on Agricultural produces especially rice production in Nigeria.
While speaking about the intended gas pipeline to Morocco, Usman disclosed that “the long term view of this MoU is to do a pipeline from Nigeria all the way to Morocco.”
He added that the gas pipeline will take the West African pipeline route and benefits several African countries.
According to him, this gas pipeline “will pick up a lot of African countries. Some of these African countries have gas they will inject into the pipelines while some don’t have but can take the gas for development, if they cannot pay for the gas, they can get electricity.”
He explained that, “It is this kind of vision that is required to lift Africa from the picture that you saw which is currently in the dark into light. It is a wonderful initiative to do. And you can see what gas will do.”
When asked about the time frame of this gas pipeline project, he explained that they “have finished visibility study. We are just launching the Final Investmwnt Decidfor the project.”
Usman also expressed that Nigeria’s readiness to complete the Decade of Gas Master Plan into a viable project.
“We have the human resources. We have the right leadership today. The leadership provided by Mr. President for declaring Decade of Gas. The leadership provided by the Honourable minister of petroleum resources in driving the gas initiative.
“The focus Leadership provided by the GMD of the NNPC, Mallam Mele Kolo Kyari, is the instrument you need, actually, to propel what you want to do. By the way, everything lies on human capacity.
“We have countries that do not have resources, they have human beings and there is nothing they don’t have today. So, today we are enjoying a focused leadership. So the mix is there for us to move in the direction of development,” he added.
He also decried the predicament of Nigeria in reference to rationing of oil, saying that the cut in oil by the OPEC+ has led to cut 2.2 million bpd to 1.6 milion bpd.
In his words, “our predicament today is coming from the fact that; first of all, we are producing 2.2 million barrels of oil a day before the pandemic. Immediately after the pandemic, prices plunged and OPEC had to take a decision to recover the price. Hence, they imposed a cut.
“This means that Nigeria had to respect the cut. Our own OPEC cut, dropped us from 2.2 million bpd to about 1.6 million bpd. Remember we are talking about gas, this is oil cut. Someone may wonder, how does it affect gas? The gas we have here in Nigeria is associated with gas that comes from the crude oil and natural gas.
“So it means when you have a cut in the production, it also affects the molecules that will come with these oil. NNPC through the leadership of our leader, Mallam Bello Kyari, was very strategic with the cut.
“They tried to cut those spins that will not affect gas production after a limit. Because obviously, no matter what we do, certain reduction in volume will come in. That’s what we are experiencing.”
He revealed that NNPC is trying all it can to ensure proper balancing.
He said, “For instance, if I cut cement, the cement prices will go up. If I give cement uncut power, your power generation will go down. So it’s a delicate balance that we have to do until we are able to recover and we are doing alot of work to be able to recover our volumes so that things will be normalize.”