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Nigeria, Ghana resolve gas debt payment

20 October 2015, 18:51

Abuja - Nigeria's state-run oil firm on Tuesday said it had resolved a dispute with Ghana over accumulated debts that threatened to see gas supplies switched off.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation said a deal over the 33.8 billion naira ($169 million, 150 million euros) owed by the Volta River Authority was agreed on Monday.

"The highlight of the agreement is that the total sum of gas supply debt will be cleared by February 2016 at the latest," NNPC spokesman Ohi Alegbe said in a statement.

He added: "It would be recalled that Nigeria had threatened to cut gas supply to Ghana by 70 percent over a $181 million debt that had accumulated over the years."

Also read: Shell confirms oil leak at Kolo Creek fields

The agreement followed high-level talks involving the head of the NNPC Ibe Kachikwu and Ghana's President John Dramani Mahama, with his minister of power, Kwabena Donkor.

The gas, delivered through the West African Pipeline Company, has been used for energy production by N-Gaz, a joint venture owned by NNPC, Shell and Chevron.

Power is likely to be a major issue on the campaign trail in Ghana, as the country gears up for presidential elections next year.

Lack of electricity has been a growing problem, with power cuts lasting sometimes up to a day at a time and hitting economic activity.

Mahama has promised decisive action to the fix the crisis, including private sector partnerships to boost renewable energy sources such as solar and biomass.

The issue has been linked to Ghana's economic growth over the last decade, where demand has raced ahead of the ability to build new infrastructure.



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