President Buhari and King Mohammed
BY OUR REPORTER—-Nigeria and Kingdom of Morocco, on Monday, 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 two countries made their position known in a joint communique issued at the end of the two-day official visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to Morocco which ended on Monday.
The communique 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, even to Europe, 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 (MoU) 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.
“On the basis of their exemplary cooperation, the two Heads of State agreed to develop a partnership in the field of agriculture, particularly through the signing of Cooperation Agreement on vocational training and technical supervision,” the two leaders said.
On regional and international issues of mutual interest and concern, King Mohammed VI and Buhari confirmed their willingness to consult and coordinate the positions of the two countries in regional and international organizations, including the African Union.
Buhari congratulated the King on Morocco’s election to the Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU).
He also congratulated him on the successful completion of his mandate as African Leader on Migration Issues.
He further noted that this had culminated in the presentation of the African Agenda for Migration and the creation of the African Observatory on Migration.
Buhari also paid tribute to the personal commitment of King Mohammed VI to sustainable development in Africa.
On his part, King Mohammed VI congratulated Buhari for his leadership in the regional initiative against terrorism in the Lake Chad region.
He also lauded his efforts in the fight against corruption and his role as the African Union anti-corruption champion.
The two Heads of State, in the spirit of the holy month of Ramadan, according to the communique, underscored their commitment to moderation, tolerance and peaceful coexistence, as taught by Islam.
The two leaders also expressed deep concerns about violent extremism, terrorism and the persistence of security threats in Africa.
They affirmed their resolve to strengthen cooperation in efforts to combat radicalization in Africa and beyond.
”The visit reinforces the positive bilateral relationship between Morocco and Nigeria since the Royal Visit to Abuja in Dec. 2016.
”At the end of the working visit, President Buhari, on behalf of his delegation, expressed his deep appreciation for the warm reception and hospitality of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, the Government and the brotherly people of Morocco,” the communique said.
The gas resource development agreement was earlier signed by the Group General Manager, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mr Farouq Garba, and Mrs Amina Benkhadra, Director-General of the National Office of Hydrocarbon and Mines.
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.
The agreement to establish Ammonia Production Plant was signed by the Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria Sovereign Wealth Authority, Mr Uche Orji, and the Chief Executive Officer of the Office of the Management of Phosphate in Morocco, Mr Mostafa Terrab.
Similarly, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, and his Moroccan counterpart, Mr Aziz Akhannouch, signed a cooperation agreement on vocational training and technical supervision of agricultural workers.
The agreement is expected to enhance local skills on better management of agricultural outfits in Nigeria.