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Nigeria, Morocco team up to build world’s longest offshore gas pipeline

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Nigeria’s Presidency has revealed that the government is teaming up with the Kingdom of Morocco to build the world’s longest offshore pipeline.

The pipeline would also be the second-longest in the world and intended to carry gas from Nigeria to Morocco, running across 11 West African countries.

The Nigerian government made the disclosure on Sunday after President Muhammadu Buhari who is on a 2-day Official Visit to Morocco. was received by a large crowd from the airport in Morocco to the Rabat Royal Palace.

The 2 countries signed agreements on  the gas pipeline, a basic chemicals platform, and agriculture cooperation

Buhari assured King Mohammed VI of Nigeria’s full commitment to the actualization of all the agreements signed.

Abuja believes that “the Nigeria Morocco Gas Pipeline (NMGP) will further encourage utilization of gas in the sub-region for domestic needs (cooking, etc) and discourage desertification.”

NMGP is designed to be 5,660km long, will reduce gas flaring in Nigeria, and encourage diversification of energy resources in the country while cutting down poverty through the creation of more job opportunities.

Nigeria holds 187 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of proven gas reserves as of 2017, ranking 9th in the world and accounting for about 3% of the world’s total natural gas reserves of 6,923 Tcf. Nigeria has proven reserves equivalent to 306.3 times its annual consumption.

A separate 677-kilometer gas pipeline runs through West Africa operated by the West African Gas Pipeline Company Limited, which links natural gas from fields in Nigeria to markets in Benin, Togo, and Ghana.

Some observers have suggested that it could have been better if Nigeria chose to upgrade the existing gas pipeline rather than get into a new one with Morocco.

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Ivory Coast aims regional shipping hub, completes $953 million container terminal

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West African country, Ivory Coast is making waves at becoming a regional shipping hub as it has completed construction of a second container terminal at its main port in Abidjan.

The project, financed by China’s Eximbank by 85% and 15% by the Ivorian state costs about 596 billion CFA francs ($953 million).

The new container terminal, called Cote d’Ivoire Terminal (CIT), started operations on Nov. 1 but was officially unveiled at a press conference on Friday. It is able to receive large ships from Asia, Europe, and America that previously had to land goods in South Africa, transferring them to smaller ships to reach West Africa.

The technical director of the terminal Andre N’Doli, remarked “we are no longer a second port. We are becoming a hub,”

“In addition to national traffic, we will handle traffic from other ports that cannot accommodate large vessels,” he told reporters.

According to official data, there has been growth in recent years in the country’s maritime sector. Ivory Coast shipped goods worth USD 12,717 million in 2019, an -8.5% dip as compared to the previous year.

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Ghana makes strong push to save currency, Cedi, orders mining companies to sell 20% stock

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As part of its many initiatives to out of its current economic challenge, Ghana has ordered all large-scale mining companies to sell 20% of their entire stock.

The gold rich country wants the companies to pay the Bank of Ghana with refined gold at their refineries from Jan. 1, 2023.

According to Vice-President, Mahamudu Bawumia said in a social media post on Friday, the government is planning a new policy where gold rather than U.S. dollar reserves will be used to buy oil products.

The move is meant to tackle dwindling foreign currency reserves coupled with the demand for dollars by oil importers, which is weakening the local cedi and increasing living costs.

“The Bank of Ghana and the Precious Minerals Marketing Company (PMMC) will coordinate with the large-scale mining companies to ensure compliance with this directive,” the vice-president said.

“The gold to be purchased by the Bank of Ghana and the PMMC will be in cedis at spot price with no discounts,” he added.

The VP further revealed that community mining schemes and licensed small-scale miners will also have to sell gold to the government.

Statista reports that gold reserves in Ghana stood at a volume of 8.74 metric tons from the first quarter of 2015 to the third quarter of 2021.

Moreover, gold mine production in the country reached a volume of 150 metric tons in 2020, an increase compared to the previous year. Ghana did not suspend its production of gold in 2020 amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Ghana hinted at the Gold for payment policy in May but the continued fall to a point of being rated worst in the world demands pragmatic measures. Hopefully, the gold-for-pay policy will bring some solace.

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