08.03.2005 Business & Finance

Standardise import procedure to push forward gas Pipeline Project

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Accra, March 8, GNA - Participating countries of the West African Gas Pipeline Project (WAGPP) have been tasked to work towards the standardization of customs and port procedures for speedy clearing of equipment needed to advance the Project.

Briefing participants at an Importation Procedures Workshop in Accra on Tuesday, Professor Mike Ocquaye, Minister of Energy, said it was important for the four participating countries to ensure that equipment for the Project were not delayed in anyway at the ports by customs processes, but treated with dispatch to meet the expectations of investors.

Ghana, Nigeria, Togo, Benin and other stakeholders are the brains behind the Project, which seeks to transport gas from southern Nigeria through Benin, Togo to Takoradi in Ghana.

The Project, according to the West African Gas Pipeline Project Company, had made steady and significant strides since negotiations began early 2000.

Prof Ocquaye condemned the current situation where numerous roadblocks hindered the development of the Sub-Region and expressed the hope that this would not be repeated in the gas pipeline project. Mr Joe Klemesu, Director-General of the West African Gas Pipeline Project Authority, was upbeat about the current state of the Project, which is at the Final Investment Decision stage with contracts to be awarded.

He said it was important for the stakeholders in the four countries and investors to know that items for the Project would be handled with speed and urgency through the various port regimes. "Delays will be costly to all. Hence we have had to standardize the whole procedure," Mr Klemensu said.

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