Ghana’s energy sector has received a major boost following the payment of the country’s $42 million legacy debt owed Nigeria Gas Company (N-Gas).
The settlement of the debt to N-Gas among other things, enhances the country’s quest to use clean fuel for its power generation and afford the two countries opportunities for further discussions going forward.
The Chief Executive Officer of N-Gas, Mr Aliyu Aminu says the payment of the debt is a testament of the government of Ghana’s commitment to deepen its long-standing relationship with the company and the Republic of Nigeria.
Speaking at a meeting with Ghana’s Energy Minister, Mr Aminu commended the leadership of Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, saying “Since he took office in March, the Nigerian petroleum company has experienced a deeper collaboration with the Ministry of Energy.”
He said it was a great relief that N-Gas’ debt of $42m has finally been settled. “We are confident the relationship between Nigeria Gas and Ghana would continue to thrive under your tenure as Minister.”
For his part, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh expressed the government’s commitment to key partnerships with all stakeholders and that the Ministry of Energy is resolved to work assiduously in that direction.
“The payment of this legacy debt was crucial because it provides the basis for a clean slate for fresh negotiations which are scheduled to take place in the coming weeks,” Dr. Prempeh noted.
He expressed the hope that the current synergy is a sign of a good future between Ghana and Nigeria with regard to gas and its role in Ghana’s development.
The Minister for Energy urged N-Gas to continuously improve the reliability and integrity of their service delivery.
The accumulation of the debt owed N-Gas started in 2014 due to the inability of VRA to pay the company. By the end of 2016, the accumulated total debt stood at $169 million.
However, in 2017 through strategic government intervention programmes such as ESLA, tranches of payments were made to the company.
Ghana at the committee of Ministers meeting in Lome, Togo in December, 2020 made a commitment to settle the remaining debt of $42m in 2021.