12 December 2012

Nigeria: Mahama Visits Jonathan, Urges Prompt Completion of West Africa Gas Pipeline

Ghanaian President John Mahama Wednesday urged his Nigerian counterpart to facilitate prompt rehabilitation of the West Africa Gas Pipeline for electricity generation in that country.

Mahama made the call when he paid a short visit to the President Goodluck Jonathan at the State House in Abuja.

Addressing State House correspondents after a closed-door meeting, Mahama said he was on his way to Equatorial Guinea for the Conference of African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States.

He said, "As you know, Ghana has been the chair of ACP since 2008 and we are supposed to be handing over to Equatorial Guinea.

"And so, en-route, I decided to pass through Abuja to pay my respect to President Goodluck Jonathan considering the relations between Ghana and Nigeria.

"I took the opportunity of the visit to discuss with him (Jonathan) the issue of West Africa Gas Pipeline. As you are aware, it got broken and there was an accident when they were trying to activate it.

"So, I want President Jonathan to use his influence to get the pipeline back into operation as soon as possible so that Ghana can continue to receive Nigerian gas to power our electricity generation."

Mahama, who was declared winner of the last Friday's Presidential elections in Ghana, said that his visit to Nigeria immediately after his victory at the polls was "significant".

The Ghanaian president said he was also in the country to condole with Jonathan on the death of his younger brother, Chief Meni Jonathan.

"After election, it is significant that this is the first country I should visit just to cement the relations between our two great countries.

"I am here to pay my respect to President Jonathan and my condolences on the loss of his younger brother. I should have attended the funeral, but we were at the height of our election so, it wasn't possible.

"So, I came with the traditional drinks, as it is customary with Ghana and our contribution to the funeral, which I have presented to President Jonathan to be sent to the family back home," he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Jonathan and Vice President Namadi Sambo came out of the Federal Executive Council meeting to receive Mahama. NAN

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