The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has threatened to cut gas supply to Ghana’s main power generation company by 70 per cent by Friday but reports have it that a Ghanaian government delegation is currently holding emergency talks in Nigeria to stop the cut.
It is understood that the NNPC made the threat due to Ghana’s unpaid debts of $181 million.
A spokesman in Ghana’s power ministry told Joy FM radio: “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”.
Ghana already suffers power shortages and Nigerian gas meets about 25 percent of its needs.
Power cuts have raised the cost of doing business and angered voters at a sensitive time for President John Mahama’s government ahead of what is expected to be a tough re-election battle next year.
Mahama has vowed to end the power cuts by the start of next year and the minister for power has said he would resign if the problem has not been fixed by then.
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.