In December 2016, King Mohammed VI of Morocco officially announced the construction of the Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline. The idea of a trans-Saharan gas pipeline was already proposed in the 1970s with a goal of diversifying Europe’s gas resources .“For economic, political, legal and security reasons, the choice was made on a combined onshore and offshore route,” Morocco’s National Office of Hydrocarbons and Mines (ONHYM) and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the two authorities supervising the project said in the joint declaration.
Project proponents cite the expected economic benefits to both countries, as well as to other West Africa countries. According to them, and to official statements, the strategic project could turn West Africa into an industrialised energy hub. Environmentalists and NGOs from the region cite the huge investment for the project that can be directed to renewable energy, the potential environmental cost, the environmental and socio-economic cost of the associated development and industrialisation policy and vision, as well as the exploitative colonialist nature of the project that will ultimately only serve to meet Europe energy needs at the expense of African countries and communities.
A large number of organizations signed the following statement  : " In December 2016, an announcement was made of a nearly 5000 km Nigeria-Morocco offshore gas pipeline which at today’s prices will cost an estimated 20 billion US dollars. In reality, the actual costs will likely be much higher. This pipeline would be a continuation of the existing 678 km long West African Gas pipeline (WAGP) that has been in service since 2010. It aims to serve 12 countries on the African continent and some 300 million potential consumers, with a possible extension to the Europe.
We, the undersigned organizations, are concerned about this project for several reasons, including: While the acceleration of global warming exceeds all expectations and greenhouse gas emissions have set a new record in 2016, the construction of this pipeline can only go in the direction of an increase of extraction and consumption of fossil resources, the main causes of global warming.
Contrary to what is often asserted, gas is not clean energy. The methane in it is more volatile than CO2, and much more powerful in global warming potential. Moreover, the concentration of methane in the atmosphere has accelerated dangerously since 2007. The extraction, transportation and use of fossil fuels has considerable environmental implications: the disturbing effects of seismic studies on marine fauna, the use and release of various chemical substances and wastes, the risks of leaks, fires and explosions related to corrosion and navigation are additional risks to that of methane emissions. This will destroy livelihoods of millions of our people depending on fisheries in our regional waters.
The section already constructed (WAGP) was done without consulting the populations who rejected the environmental impact study. It is a top-down project that does not consider the needs of the populations and the environment. They are not consulted and will not be the first beneficiaries of this pipeline. While Nigeria is Africa’s largest exporter of gas and oil, less than half of the population has access to electricity. In Benin, Togo, already served by the WAGP, barely a third of the population have access to electricity.
The proposed pipeline is a project for the multinational corporations. Nigerians do not benefit from Oil exploitation in Nigeria. The energy produced will be used primarily to fuel agribusiness projects and export-oriented industrial clusters at the expense of small farmers and artisans and the satisfaction of the needs of the people.
This project will be a financial sinkhole. It is likely that the forecast cost of US $ 20 billion will be probably doubled and will lead to an exponential increase of the debt burden of our countries.
We the undersigned believe that the proposed Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline is bad for the region, our peoples and the Planet. We say NO to the project, Because we choose the climate in place of fossil energy, Because we choose the health of our planet against the appetites of multinationals, Because we refuse to pay for projects that will not bring us anything, We say no to the Nigeria Morocco pipeline."