Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva has emphasized the leadership demonstrated by Nigeria toward ensuring that the West African Gas Pipeline Authority (WAGPA) delivers on its objectives.
Speaking at the meeting of the Committee of Ministers of WAGPA, held in Abuja on Tuesday, 10th May, 2022, the Minister stated that Nigeria would continue to work with all stakeholders for the improvement of the project performance. He informed that WAGPA’S targets were to deepen gas supplies and utilization within the ECOWAS sub-region.
Sylva remarked that the West African Gas Pipeline Project (WAGP) was a visionary project that originated from the ECOWAS Energy Policy and aimed at fostering economic development and promotion of integration among ECOWAS States through cross border Natural Gas transportation.
The Minister stated that in spite of daunting challenges, a number of successes had been attained through the collaborative efforts of member states. He listed the successes to include; Project completion in 2011, Open Access implemented in 2012, Improved gas availability, Takoradi-Tema Interconnection Project (TTIP), Lifting of Force Majeure that was in place by Nigeria Gas Company (NGC) between June 2013 and October, 2020, reforms of the Access Code to the WAGP Network Code, and the ongoing amendment to the WAGP Act and the WAGP Regulations which ultimately among other things will give a licensing power to WAGP Authority to oversee the activities of the Shippers as it relates to the WAGP, for free and fair business environment on the WAGP.
In her address, the Director General of WAGPA, Mrs. Chafari Kanya Hanawa, stated that as DG, she recognized that WAGPA’s mandates were three-pronged-Representation, Facilitation and Regulation. She asserted that WAGPA, under her leadership would embrace greater partnership with relevant stakeholders in the project with a view to ensuring greater service delivery vis-à-vis the statutory mandate of the body.
The DG thanked the Committee of Ministers for giving her the nod to take up the mantle of leadership of WAGPA.
In his remarks, Ghana’s Minister of Energy and Chairman of the Committee of Ministers, Dr. Matthew Opoku, noted that, in spite of the technical breaches encountered, in the last few years, WAGP had been a significant contributor to the stability of Power supply in beneficiary countries. He informed of plans to further extend the pipelines along the West African Coast up to Morocco to supply natural gas to the countries along the pipeline route as well as those in-land.
Opoku implored that efforts must be made to enhance the operational efficiency of the pipeline and strengthen the regulatory authority to perform its roles within the anticipated context of multiplicity of shippers on the pipeline which will increase the complexity of regulation.
Speaking at the event, the Managing Director of The West African Gas Pipeline Company (WAPCo), Mr. Gregory Germani, appreciated the team effort between WAPCo and WAGPA in the promotion of efficiency, reliability and safety on the West African Gas Pipeline Project. He informed that WAPCo and WAGPA would this year be implementing the novel WAGP network code to further advance growth opportunities and offer a level playing ground for all parties. He added that beyond its core operations, WAPCo was genuinely committed to improving the quality of life of the people in the communities within which they operate.
One of the highlights of the meeting was the handing over of the chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers from Ghana to Togo.
Enefaa Bob-Manuel (Mrs.)