The West African Gas Pipeline Company (WAPCO) said on Tuesday, it has suspended the flow of gas from Nigeria to Ghana over unpaid bills by the Ghana government.
Ghana’s state power producer, Volta River Authority, owes Nigeria’s N-Gas around $180 million, while N-Gas in turn owes the Pipeline Company $104 million, WAPCO spokeswoman Harriet Wereko-Brobby said.
She said it was the first time the pipeline, a public-private partnership in which a Chevron subsidiary has a 36.9 per cent stake, has been closed over non-payment.
Ghana is working to lower inflation and bring down its budget deficit under a programme with the International Monetary Fund that aims to resolve a fiscal crisis brought about in part through government overspending.
Only a small portion of Ghana’s energy needs were supplied through the pipeline, but the suspension is likely to exacerbate power supply problems given low water levels at the main hydro plants. This in turn could force the government to rely more heavily on imported gas.
At the time of going to press, we were unable to get the Ministry of Power to respond to the WAPCO decision.
The Deputy Minister for Power did not pick up a call from the News Desk and did not reply to a text message sent to him on the subject.
By Times Reporter