The Minister of Defence, Mark Woyongo has called on Economic Community for West African States (ECOWAS) member states and agencies to play a collected role in ensuring the safety of the West African Gas Pipeline.
According to him, the protection of the pipeline should be given the same priority as the maritime domain of the Gulf of Guinea because, the recent damage to the pipeline negatively affected countries that depended on it for gas, especially Ghana.
The West African Gas Pipeline in 2007 suffered a catastrophic loss of pressure as a result of damage by a ship’s anchor.
The incident occurred before the commissioning of the gas pipeline.
In August 2012 however, there was another damage to the pipeline by an unidentified ship.
Mr. Woyongo made the call at the West African Gas Pipeline Safety Workshop in Accra.
He noted that “this regional infrastructure when well managed and enhanced will play a major role in the economy of our country for many years to come.”
The Minister added that with ECOWAS aspiring to bridge the social and economic barriers within the sub-region, “this project is the most important catalyst that we should proudly protect and nurture.”
The Minister of Energy and Petroleum, Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah on his part called for a review of existing protection efforts and a drastic change in the way things are done to ensure a coordinated approach in addressing threats to the pipeline.
He called for concrete ideas to safeguard the integrity of the pipeline.
Mr. Buah mentioned a number of risks and threats that the WAGPL is exposed to including; piracy, unlawful fishing practices such as the use of explosives and sea bottom trolley.
In a speech read on his behalf, the sector Minister urged ECOWAS countries to forge ahead to ensure the maritime security of the pipeline and other infrastructure are protected.
By: Afiba Anyanzua Anyanzu/citifmonline.com/Ghana