Nigeria and Ghana are currently in talks aimed at averting a drastic gas supply cut threat, thus avoiding a potential diplomatic crisis between the two countries.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said it will cut gas supply by 70 per cent to Ghana’s main power generation company by Friday due to unpaid debts of $181 million.
Ghana already suffers power shortages and Nigerian gas meets about 25 percent of its needs.
According to a Ghanian government spokesman, a Ghanaian government delegation is already in NIgeria holding emergency talks with Nigerian officials.
“They are already in Nigeria. They left Ghana last night. We are praying that they are able to negotiate … so that it doesn’t come to a cut in supply,” a spokesman for the power ministry told Joy FM radio on Thursday.
Power cuts have raised the cost of doing business and angered voters at a sensitive time for Ghana’s President John Mahama’s government ahead of what is expected to be a tough re-election battle next year.
Nigerian gas flows to Ghana through the West African Gas Pipeline Company’s pipe that runs via Benin and Togo. VRA buys the gas to fire power plants mainly in the east of the country.
Hydro supplies around 50 percent of Ghana’s power with the rest from its own gas and other sources.
The power crisis stems from a fall in supply from Ghana’s dams, government underpayment to the Electricity Company of Ghana, residents’ illegal consumption and tariffs too low for VRA to recoup its costs.
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