Uche Usim, Abuja
The Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, on Tuesday, said Nigeria would likely present more gas supply options for the West African Gas Project (WAGP), especially with the sustained stability recorded in the Niger Delta region and the discovery of large quantity of gas offshore Lagos.
Speaking at the 17th meeting of the Committee of Ministers of WAGP in Abuja, Kachikwu expressed joy that the sub-regional project has been well nurtured, adding that the Abuja meeting will further strengthen the resolve to address pending issues for the project to achieve set targets.
He said: “We are here to consider the feedback on the issues discussed at the last meeting of the Committee of Ministers of WAGP 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.
“We must continue to build on our achievements and not to relent. I sincerely hope the respective parties would be able to make progress on the issues raised at the last meeting, as we all identified the role 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. The 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,” Kachikwu explained.
The minister also assured the West African delegates that Nigeria would continue to play its part in building blocks of unity in line with the aspirations of the project to achieve a greater integration of the West African region.
Also speaking at the meeting, Mr. Walter Perez, the Managing Director, West African Gas Pipeline Company, said it was heartwarming that the project has remained upward bound despite various challenges it had to surmount.
“We faced some peculiar challenges, which required our collective action. I am pleased to report that our actions are being manifested in a turn-around and a steady surge towards our destination of regional economic integration. “At the last meeting in 2017, we were just short of receiving the agreed near term objective of 70MMBtu/d. We had hoped that force majeure (FM) would have been lifted by now, but this has unfortunately not yet materialised.
“However, the situation has significantly improved as a result of work completed by WAPCo in 2018 to upgrade our compressor station in Nigeria to operate at reduced pressures.”