Friday, January 28, 2022

    Ghana pays US$10m debt to Nigeria to avoid Gas supply cut

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    Babatunde Akinsola
    Babatunde Akinsola is aNaija247news' Southwest editor. He's based in Lagos and writes on the Yoruba Nation political issues, news and investigative reports

    Government has settled part of its debt to the West African Gas Pipeline Company (WAPCo) and Nigeria Gas Association, NGAs, following the first round of talks with the Nigerian authorities yesterday.

    The negotiations, Naija247news has learnt, will continue as yesterday’s payment of US$10 million buys Ghana some time to conclude negotiations to curtail the cut in gas supply from Nigeria.

    The WAPCo had threatened to cut gas supply to Ghana Friday dawn over 180 million dollar debt owed NGAs, but it suspended the decision after the deadline for payment elapsed last night.

    Harriet Wereko Brobbey, Corporate Affairs Director for the West Africa Gas Pipeline Company, told Joy News her outfit is still transporting natural gas to Ghana.

    Sources in Abuja, Nigeria tell Naija247news that Ghana has committed first payment of close to 10 million dollars to NGAs.

    This agreement was reached with some conditions, Joy News has gathered.

    NGAs is owned by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation and other multinational oil companies including Chevron and Shell. The partners are expected to meet over the weekend to structure out a payment plan which will be agreed on by other partners.

    Though the negotiation was confidential, snippets of information indicate that some of the key issues discussed included the fact that Ghana is one of the biggest customers of WAPCO for gas supply because of its strategic role in the West African sub region in the supply of electricity.

    Nigeria in the past had not been honoring its agreement in the amount of gas it must contractually supply Ghana which became a major talking point from late 2014 into early this year. That also played out during the negotiations, according to sources in easing the hard stance by the Nigerians.

    Some players in the power sector are also pointing to Ghana’s power barges that will rely on residual fuel which is cheaper than the gas from Nigeria. This will have an effect on Ghana’s demand for natural gas from Nigeria.

    The decision not to cut supply of gas to the country is temporary, WAPCO which is a major player will be engaged in series of meetings next week by government and NGAs to agree on the payment plan.

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