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WAPCo and WAGPA Officials meet the Petroleum Minister of State (Gas) to discuss progress on WAGP Act amendments

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WAPCo and WAGPA Officials meet the Petroleum Minister of State (Gas) to discuss progress on WAGP Act amendments

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WAPCo, WAGPA officials pose with the Honorable Minister of State, Petroleum (Gas) Resources

The West African Gas Pipeline Company (WAPCo) and the West African Gas Pipeline Authority (WAGPA) meets with the Honorable Minister of State, Petroleum (Gas) Resources, Federal Republic of Nigeria, in Abuja on 5th July 2024.

The West African Gas Pipeline Company (WAPCo) represented by its General Counsel, Mr. Odey Adamade and the General Manager Operations, Mr. Auwal Ibrahim, and the West African Gas Pipeline Authority (WAGPA) duly represented by its Director General Chafari Kanya Hanawa and the Director Technical, Mr. Alain Sedjro Houha, met with the Honorable Minister of State, Petroleum (Gas) Resources Rt. Hon. Ekperikpe Ekpo in his office at the NNPC Towers in Abuja on 5 July 2024.

The WAPCo and the WAGPA team met with the Honorable Minister to update him on the progress made regarding the amendment of the WAGP Act and WAGP Regulations in the four WAGP States (Nigeria, Benin, Togo and Ghana).

The WAPCo General Counsel while speaking, thanked the Honorable Minister for his support in securing the Federal Executive Council’s Approval for the WAGP Act Amendment Bill which approval has been sent to the Federal Ministry of Justice for consideration and transmission. He also took the opportunity to remind the Honorable Minister that the Republic of Benin has passed the Bill into law. In Togo, the WAGPA DG confirmed that the process is awaiting the effective start of activities by the Parliament newly inaugurated following the election recently held in Togo.

Concerning the Republic of Ghana, the General Counsel briefed the Honorable Minister on the reservation raised by Ghana on one of the items for amendment, which is on extension of Tax Holiday to WAPCo.

He stated that both WAPCo and WAGPA have engaged Ghana to pass the amendment in whole so as to maintain fiscal harmony by all WAGP States as envisaged under the WAGP Treaty. He noted that reasons proffered by Ghana for omitting the tax exemption were not in tandem with the WAGP Act.

The DG, WAGPA also stated for the sustainability of the WAGP Project, it is important for the State Parties to maintain fiscal harmony as promoted, adopted and signed into law by the founding fathers. Therefore, the WAGP Act applies in all the four States and where there is a need to amend any aspect of the Act, it behooves on each State Party to do so, except where the amendment will be inconsistent with the provisions of the constitution of the state.

The team finally requested the intervention of the Honorable Minister, with his counterpart in Ghana to help solve the matter in the best interest of the WAGP Project. The Honorable Minister promised to confer with his counterpart in Ghana on the matter for a way forward. He also advised the team to share the same information and concerns with the Chairperson of the Committee of Ministers (CoM); the Honorable Minister of Energy and Mines, Togo as well as the Minister of Energy and Water Resources, Benin.

The Honorable Minister was also briefed by the DG on the ongoing review of the Intergovernmental Agreement on the Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline, stating that it is necessary for the WAGP State Parties to work together to align their comments on the draft Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) shared by the ECOWAS Commission as they are part of the process, prior to the workshop to be organized to finalize the document. She added that, given the various resolutions adopted by the WAGP CoM on the WAGP Extension Project following its merger with the Nigeria Morocco gas Pipeline Project, it is only consistent for the WAGP State Parties to consider their past resolution to comment on the draft IGA which ultimately is expected to be signed by the Heads of State and Government sometime this year.

The Honorable Minister instructed his team to get WAGPA onboard for the review and harmonization of the IGA. On that note, the meeting was called to an end with a group photograph of the participants.

WAPCo with its Corporate Headquarters located in Accra, Ghana, owns and operates the 678Km Gas Pipeline constructed to supply natural gas from Nigeria to Benin, Togo and Ghana, while WAGPA with its headquarters located in Abuja, Nigeria is the Regulator of the WAGP.

In 2019, the WAGP commenced bidirectional flow of natural gas from the west (Ghana)Other Ministry of Petroleum staff present at the meeting include Dr. Bello Saidu, representing Nigeria on the Board of Governors of WAGPA, Eng. Aminu Abba Yahaya, Tech Asst on Gas Infrastructure, Ms. Sokeipirim Soberekon, Technical Assistant, Legal and Patrick Ekperipe, personal Assistant to the Honorable Minister.

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