The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, has expressed optimisms that issues hindering the expansion of the West African Gas Pipeline Project (WAGP) would be resolved to increase supply of gas to West African countries and boost power supply.
Kachikwu who spoke at the 17th meeting of Committee of Ministers of West African Gas Pipeline Authority (WAGPA) in Abuja on Tuesday, called for the sustenance of the project.
Kachikwu said the meeting in Nigeria was to consider the feedback on the issues discussed at the last meeting held in Dec. 2017 in Lome, Togo.
He said the meeting was designed to get feedback on WAGP operational issues, status of the Western inter-connection, tariff and other regulatory issues.
He said, “We all have nurtured the WAGP project and today’s meeting will further strengthen our resolve to see that we move forward on pending issues to achieve the set targets.
“We must continue to build on our achievements and not to relent on our efforts. I sincerely hope the respective parties were able to make progress on the issues raised at the last meeting.
“We must endeavor to resolve those issues that will lead to the advancement and aspiration of our respective countries and region,” he said.
The minister said the project should be sustained with the cooperation from all parties, as it was being celebrated all over Africa as the flagship project for the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).
“It is a job that we cannot afford not to deliver but providing power to the African people, especially the west African people is always the single most important development item in this sub-continent.
“It is absolute important for us as brother ministers to continue to work very laboriously to archive this objective,” he said.
The WAGPA is an international institution established by the Treaty on the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP) Project.
The project was signed by the Heads of States of the Republic of Benin, Ghana, Nigeria and Togo.
It consists of 678 km pipeline to transport natural gas from Nigeria to Benin, Togo and Ghana for power plants and heat-using industries for the generation of power to electricity consumers in the region.
The Managing Director of West African Gas Pipeline Company (WAGPC), Mr. Walter Perez, said the actions of member nations was manifesting in a turn-around and a steady regional economic integration.
He said the situation in WAGPC had improved due to upgrade of the compressor station in Nigeria.
“As a result of this, we have been able to demonstrate the capability to transport over 85,000 MMBtu/d.
“In addition, this upgrade has allowed us to be more consistent in delivering gas to our customers in spite of variations in pressure at Itoki,” he said.