Nigerian govt to partner Morocco in energy, housing

The Federal Government has disclosed that it is working out modalities to partner with Morocco in housing and energy.

The Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing, Mr Mustapha Shehuri said this interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sideline of the Crans Montana Forum in Dakhla, Morocco. Shehuri said he had met with his Moroccan counterparts and begun discussions on investment opportunities.

“Our energy sector needs a lot of investment and I have seen the successes recorded here and we are going to partner with them to advance the energy sector in Nigeria. “I also had a meeting with the Minister of Housing.

“Housing is a very serious problem in Nigeria; we have about 17 billion in deficits of housing and we have started a pilot scheme of the national housing programme. “To provide more houses, we will need investment from outside; the framework is there but financing the project is a huge task.

“I have also invited our Moroccan counterparts to Nigeria so we can discuss how we can partner to provide affordable houses for Nigerians,” he said.

The minister also said that the forum was a platform for enhanced international cooperation.

Also speaking, Senator Foster Ogola representing Bayelsa West senatorial district, a representative of the ECOWAS Parliament, also said the forum was a “network of development partnership and creating synergy”.

“The Crans Montana Forum is not a forum for Morocco to win sympathy to be a member of West Africa.

“The application of Morocco to be part of ECOWAS is not yet formal; none of the ECOWAS articles of association provides for any country applying to be a member of ECOWAS. It only provides for exit.

“Until provisions are made for admittance, it is impossible to do anything,” Ogola said.

The Crans Montana forum, held annually since 1986, is aimed at strengthening solidarity in the economic, social and environmental development of the continent.

It is also aimed at enhancing relationships with countries globally, notably in the framework of the South-South Cooperation.

High points of the forum include presentation of the Prix de La Fondation 2018 award to Mrs Debbie Remengesau, First Lady of the Republic of Palau.

Other recipients were Mr Mustapha Cissé Lo, Speaker of ECOWAS Parliament, and Mr Michel Martelly, Former President of the Republic of Haiti.

The prize is presented every year to some exceptional personalities working tirelessly for a more “humane world”.
Another award presented was the Crans Montana Forum’s Gold Medal.

The medal, a high-profile honorary distinction that celebrates exceptional achievements and actions toward humanity was presented to Mrs Obiageli Ezekwesili, Nigeria’s former Minister of Education.

Ezekwesili is also a former African Vice-President of the World Bank.

Mr Sun Xiansheng, Secretary-General of the International Energy Forum also received the award.