Take a $100m bite from Eurobond to pay for Nigeria gas- Wereko-Brobby tells gov’t

Former Chief Executive of the Volta River Authority says Ghanaian emissaries sent to Nigeria to negotiate a deal for continued supply of gas should not go empty handed.

At worse, Dr Charles Wereko-Brobby says the men or women must carry with them a $100 million, amount taken from the Eurobond which is supposed to have hit government’s accounts to offset part of the country’s huge debts owed the West Africa Gas Pipeline company.

“After all we carried money to the Black Stars,” he said on Joy FM’s Newsnite programme.

Ghana is racing with time to meet a Friday deadline set by the West Africa Gas Pipeline company (WAPco) to cut off gas supplies to Ghana if it fails to pay a $180 million debt.

Representatives of the country are said to be heading to the populous country in a desperate attempt to stop WAPCo from carrying out its threat

The debt has been piling up since August 2014. Out of the $180 million debt, the Volta River Authority owes $103 million while other power entities owe $78 million.

Managing Director of WAPCo, Walter Perez said the company has regularly engaged Ghana’s Public Utility Regulatory Commission, VRA, the relevant ministries and the highest levels of government to find a solution to the situation before it reaches crisis level.

“Unfortunately, these efforts have not achieved the desired results”, he said.

After almost a year keeping quiet about the problem, the foreign managers of the company are now taking government to task and they are doing it publicly.

Walter Perez criticized government’s handling of VRA’s debt.

“Ït is unfortunate that the VRA debt situation has been allowed to deteriorate to the point where it now jeopardizes the existence of WAPco as a company,” he said, adding President John Mahama must act now.

“If he [President Mahama] is not able to do that, then things really fall apart…leaders are paid to take tough calls”, Walter Perez told journalists.

“We would love to be paid in full…but we really need to have some credible payment plan”, Walter explained negotiation options available.

Dr Wereko-Brobby shares the frustration of the WAPCo boss. He said the company cannot continue running on charity basis.

He said government had been paying lip service with the payment of the debt and must now show real commitment.

According to him, the chain of government’s debts to ECG, Asogli has left VRA crippled and unable to pay WAPCo for gas bought on credit.

He said government’s debt to ECG stands at $500 million and must be paid so the distributer can pay VRA, the generator.

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