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World Bank Spots Loopholes In West African Gas Project  


The World Bank has spotted loopholes in the planning of the West African Gas Project. WAPG is a natural-gas pipeline in West Africa, which the World Bank is underwriting with risk guarantees.

The bank said in a statement in its website that an inspection panel, in a recent review, discovered that important social and environmental safeguards were not followed in the implementation of the project.

"The project did not properly identify and arrange for the livelihood restoration of vulnerable people who involuntarily lost assets," the bank said.

According to the statement, it also discovered significant under-compensation for the value of land, which was calculated at below market rates.

The bank has asked that steps be taken to adequately compensate the communities affected by the project.

The investigation was undertaken following complaints by affected communities in Nigeria that the pipeline project failed to take into account its impact on their environment and livelihoods.

The WAGP will traverse 620 miles (1,033 kilometres) both on and offshore from Nigeria’s Niger Delta region to its final planned terminus in Ghana. The first portion of the pipeline, which will deliver gas to the greater Lagos area (Alagbado), is already in existence. The Escravos-Lagos pipeline (ELP) was commissioned in 1989, supplying natural gas to Nigeria’s Egbin power plant and other industrial consumers in Lagos and Ogun States. ELP has a capacity to handle nearly 900 million cubic feet per day (Mmcf/d) of natural gas, but currently the majority of this capacity is not utilised. A 34-mile (57- kilometre) onshore portion of the WAGP will run from Alagbado to Seme beach in Lagos State. The WAGP will continue offshore, with proposed landfall spurs at Cotonou (Benin), Lome (Togo), Tema (Ghana), Takoradi (Ghana) and Effasu (Ghana). The initial capacity of the WAGP will be 200 Mmcf/d, with the capability to expand to 600 Mmcf/d as demand grows.

The $500-million WAGP will initially transport 120 Mmcf/d of gas to Ghana, Benin and Togo.