A Labour Party chieftain, Doyin Okupe, has said that Nigeria needs to intervene in the coup crisis in Niger if it ever wants the trans-sahara gas pipelines to be completed.
According to him, Nigeria has a standing agreement with the previous governments of Niger for the completion of the pipelines. He, however, feared that if Russia is allowed to control Niger, the project which will be of benefit to Nigeria’s economy may never be completed.
This was as he made it clear that his call for Nigeria’s intervention i not a call for war against Niger.
He wrote, “Nigeria has the 9th largest gas reserve in the world; about 209 trillion cubic meters of proven reserve.
In 2022, we earned more than N170B from export via NNLG trains.
“Nigeria has become a potential alternative source of natural gas supply to Europe, if and when the 4000 to 5000km trans-sahara gas pipelines are completed.
“Nigeria has a standing agreement with previous governments in Niger for the passage of the gas pipeline through Niger enroute Algeria & Morocco who are all partners in this project.
“Russia is the current world largest supplier of natural gas & the main supplier to Europe.
“The proposed trans-saharan gas pipeline from Nigeria is in direct competition with Russia.
Therefore, Russian control of the authorities in Niger is inimical to the economic interest of Nigeria.
“The trans-saharan gas pipe line can deliver up to 30B cubic meters per annum with a potential of up to $20B to $25B revenue annually for the next 100years!
This is why whoever controls the leadership of Niger Republic is of critical importance to the Nigerian government.
‘If Russia is in control, they will naturally frustrate the Trans Saharan Pipeline Project.
“This therefore is a serious matter concerning our national economic interest & national survival, not about elections or partisan politics which are temporary matters when placed side by side with long term interest of the Nation.
“I repeat for the umpteenth time that I am not advocating for war with Niger Republic.
“Government has various options including diplomatic negotiations – which the government has already initiated.
‘All I asked for is for us to stand by the President in this extraordinary times as patriots.
“There are many things that members of the public may not be fully aware of and yet government may not freely talk openly about.
“There are many things some of us also know by virtue of positions we have held in governments in the past that inform what we say.
“If you know you know.”