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WAPCo, WAGPA meet Petroleum Minister, discuss progress on gas Amendment Act

WAPCo

By Tom Garba

Officials from the West African Gas Pipeline Company (WAPCo) and the West African Gas Pipeline Authority (WAGPA) met with the Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum (Gas) Resources of Nigeria, Rt Hon Ekperikpe Ekpo, at his NNPC Abuja towers office.

The meeting, led by WAPCo General Counsel, Mr Odey Adamade, alongside the General Manager of Operations, Mr Auwal Ibrahim, and WAGPA Director General (DG), Barr Chafari Kanya Hanawa, and WAGPA’s Director of Technical Affairs, Mr Alain Sedjro Houha, provided an update on the amendment of the WAGP Act and Regulations in Nigeria, Benin, Togo, and Ghana.

Mr Adamade expressed gratitude to the Minister for securing Federal Executive Council approval for the WAGP Act Amendment Bill, which has been sent to the Federal Ministry of Justice for consideration. He reminded the Minister that Benin has passed the Bill into law, and Togo’s WAGPA DG confirmed that the process is awaiting the Parliament’s action following recent elections.

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Regarding Ghana, Mr. Adamade highlighted concerns over the parliament’s reservation on extending the Tax Holiday to WAPCo. He emphasized that WAPCo and WAGPA are engaging Ghana to ensure the amendment is passed to maintain fiscal harmony across WAGP States, as envisaged by the WAGP Treaty.

WAGPA DG, Barr Chafari, stressed the importance of maintaining Fiscal Harmony and compliance with the WAGP Act across all States, noting that amendments must be consistent with each country’s constitution. She urged the Minister to intervene with his Ghanaian counterpart to resolve the issue in the best interest of the WAGPA Project.

The Minister, Mr. Ekpo, pledged his support and commitment to intervene with Ghanaian authorities. He advised WAPCo and WAGPA officials to share their concerns with the Chairperson of the Committee of Ministers (CoM); the Honorable Minister of Energy and Mines, Togo, and the Minister of Energy and Water Resources, Benin.

Additionally, WAGPA DG briefed the Minister on the review of the Intergovernmental Agreement on the Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline, stressing the need for WAGP State Parties to align their comments on the draft IGA shared by the ECOWAS Commission. A workshop will be held to finalize the amended document, which is expected to be signed by Heads of State and Government later this year.

WAPCo, headquartered in Accra, Ghana, operates the 678 km Gas Pipeline supplying natural gas from Nigeria to Benin, Togo, and Ghana, while WAGPA, based in Abuja, Nigeria, regulates the WAGP. Since 2019, the WAGP has enabled bidirectional gas flow from Ghana to the West.

The meeting was also attended by Dr. Bello Saidu, representing Nigeria on the WAGPA Board; Eng. Aminu Abba Yahaya, Technical Assistant on Gas Infrastructure; Ms. Sokeipirim Soberekon, Technical Assistant, Legal; and Patrick Ekperipe, Personal Assistant to the Minister. The Minister instructed his team to ensure WAGPA’s involvement in the IGA review and harmonization.

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