By Aminaash Nyande Brima
Sierra Leone is set to benefit from a gas pipeline project worth over $25 billion, which when completed, will allow the country to enjoy gas supplies at a cheaper cost.
The $25 billion project, which will be constructed over six phases over the next 25 years, will connect Nigeria’s immense gas supply to Europe through over six countries along Africa’s West Coast.
This is expected to reduce the high cost of gas, alleviate poverty in the region, promote socio economic development, and mitigate desertification through sustainable and reliable gas supply and a reduction in carbon emissions.
The $25 billion worth project took another step forward in Rabat with the signing of agreements with five countries, including Sierra Leone through whose waters the line would be installed.
The ultimate aim of the 7,000-kilometre-Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline project will send gas from Nigeria – whose resources stand at about 200 trillion cubic feet – to Europe in order to make up for a shortfall in the Russian supplies.
This agreement came at a crucial time when the global deficiency in the supply of oil and gas, especially to African nations, due to the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, leaving many countries, including the West handicap for want of much-needed petroleum products.
Sierra Leone was represented by Ambassador to the Kingdom of Morocco, H.E. Atumanni Dainkeh and a senior management team from Sierra Leone consisting of the Director of Finance, Zainu Deen Karim, and Senior Legal Counsel, Michella Eddinia Swallow.
The delegation signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Monday 5th December 2022 in Rabat Morocco, on the gas pipeline project linking Nigeria to Morocco, which will supply gas to West Africa and Europe.
This MOU shows President Julius Maada Bio’s willingness and commitment to salvaging the scarce and high cost of petroleum products in the world and to also contribute to the success of this project.
The $25 billion African gas pipeline scheme would provide energy to approximately 340 million people, while reducing gas burning.
According to the head of Nigeria’s NNPC Ltd, Mele Kyari, Europe and African countries along the pipeline route stands to gain a lot from the project, reaffirming that other benefits include the creation of wealth and improvement in the standard of living of their citizenry, increased cooperation between the respective countries, while mitigating desertification and other benefits to be derived from reduction in carbon emissions.
The pipeline’s capacity is expected to be about 3 billion cubic feet per day.