By Fortune Abang
King Mohammed VI of Morocco has conferred Mr Baba Garba, the Nigerian Ambassador to the Kingdom of Morocco, with one of the highest honours of the North African country.
According to a statement issued by the Nigerian envoy to Morocco on Sunday in Abuja, Mohammed decorated Garba with the honour of “Wissam Al Alaoui” of the Order of Commander.
The statement said Garba was decorated at the Royal Palace in Rabat, the Moroccan capital, in recognition of the envoy’s efforts towards strengthening bilateral relations between Nigeria and Morocco.
It highlighted Garba’s tenure as head of the Nigerian mission in that country to have contributed to increased cooperation between Nigeria and the Kingdom of Morocco.
“The highest points of such increased cooperation were the remarkable state visit of King Mohammed VI to Nigeria in 2016 and President Muhammadu Buhari’s reciprocal trip to the Kingdom in 2018.
“Buhari’s visit to the North African country nearly two years ago was the first of such to be paid by sitting Nigerian leader since relations were established with Morocco in 1969.
“During Buhari’s visit to Morocco in 2018, the two countries signed three agreements to facilitate economic cooperation between the two countries.
“The agreements include deals on regional gas pipeline, chemical plant and agricultural training.”
It explained that the Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline (NMGP) project, designed to be 5,660kms, long would reduce gas flaring in Nigeria and encourage diversification of energy resources in the country.
It added that the agreement would also reduce poverty through the creation of more job opportunities.
It further said that the construction of the pipeline was in phases and also in line with the need of the countries crossed and Europe for the period of 25 years.
It quoted Mr Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant on Media to the Nigerian leader, in a statement issued after the signing ceremony in Rabat to commend the project.
“The NMGP will further encourage utilisation of gas in the sub-region for cooking and discourage desertification,” Shehu said.
The statement said that Garba had promoted Nigeria’s foreign policy objectives and concretised relations between both countries since his presentation of Letters of Credence to the King.
Also, the ceremony was witnessed by Mr Nasser Bourita, Morocco Minister of Foreign Affairs African Cooperation; the Chambellan of the King, Sidi Mohammed El Alaoui, and diplomats.
Mohammed, who is King of Morocco is a member of the Alaouite dynasty and ascended the throne on July 23, 1999, after the death of his father, King Hassan II, in 2019. (NAN)