Chineme Okafor in Abuja
Nigeria is still committed to supplying gas to end-users within the West African sub-region through the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP) despite recent payment challenges from one of her customers, Ghana, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has said.
Speaking recently at the 17th Meeting of the Committee of Ministers of the WAGP in Abuja, Kachikwu, explained the country would keep up gas supply to customers within the WAGP framework, adding that recent stability in oil production in the Niger Delta, as well as new discoveries in offshore Lagos oil fields would ensure stability in gas supply.
He noted that the WAGP was now a model being celebrated across Africa, and should thus be sustained by all parties.
The WAGP is managed by West African Gas Pipeline Company (WAGPCo) which in turn gets gas from N-Gas Limited, a company owned by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Shell and Chevron, to supply to countries like Ghana which recently said it would pay off its outstanding debt to the company for gas supplied.
â€œI am indeed happy to welcome you all to the 17th Meeting of the Committee of Ministers of the West Africa Gas Pipeline (WAGP) Project holding here in Abuja.
â€œToday marks another important milestone in the history of the WAGP project as this meeting will afford us the opportunity to further discuss issues pertaining to the progress made so far towards the realisation of the aspirations for which WAGP was set to achieve,â€ said Kachikwu.
He further stated: â€œWe are here today to consider the feedback on the issues discussed at the last meeting of the Committee of Ministers of the West African Gas Pipeline held in December, 2017 in Lome. Feedback on WAGP operational issues, status of the western inter-connection, tariff and other regulatory issues would be discussed.â€
According to him: â€œWe all have nurtured the WAGP project and todayâ€™s meeting will further strengthen our resolve to see that we move forward on pending issues to achieve the set targets.
â€œWe must continue to build on our achievements and not to relent efforts. I sincerely hope the respective parties were able to make progress on the issues raised at the last meeting as we all identify the role that each party would play going forward. We must endeavour to resolve those issues that will lead to the advancement and aspiration of our respective countries and region.â€
â€œThe WAGP project is being celebrated all over Africa today as the flagship project for the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD). Therefore, this project should be sustained with our cooperation from all parties,â€ he added.
On Nigeriaâ€™s commitment, he said: â€œOn the part of Nigeria, I am pleased to be able to welcome you all at a point when the Niger Delta is stable and gas supply from Nigeria is becoming more assured and also when more gas resources are being discovered offshore Lagos, which could present more option of gas supply to the WAGP project.
â€œI seize this opportunity to affirm that Nigeria will continue to play her part in seeing that we work together with the aspirations of the project to achieve a greater integration of the West African region.â€