President John Mahama has dashed to Abuja, Nigeria, on what observers regard as a critical mission in search of an energy lifeline from the oil-rich West African country.
Although clothed in the diplomatic nicety of seeking help for the completion of the stalled West Africa Gas Pipeline and a joint fight against piracy on their common coasts, his discussion with President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan went beyond the foregone.
After the airport diplomatic formalities, headed by Nigerian Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and other senior government officials, President Mahama went into business with his host, and was expected to have asked for an expedited resupply of gas to Ghana and other requests which were being kept away from the eyes of the media.
Ghana has suffered untold challenges following the irregular supply of electricity, an anomaly which government blamed on the disruption of gas supply from Nigeria, a critical energy source for electricity generation.
President Mahama, when he met with editors recently at the Flagstaff House, told his guests that he had learnt to avoid giving dates for the end of the energy crisis.
Nigeria’s generosity, as witnessed in the days of Olusegun Obasanjo, appears to have ended, and it is hard to predict what the outcome of President Mahama’s mission would be.
It would be recalled that in the early days of the energy challenges, former President John Agyekum Kufuor asked President John Mahama to seek external intervention to address the problem, an admonition which he appears to have finally heeded.
Former President John Agyekum Kufuor rushed to his then Nigerian counterpart President Olusegun Obasanjo when, soon upon assuming power in 2001, the country was plunged into an energy crisis.
Nigeria offered the much-needed lifeline in the form a soft arrangement by which oil was exported to Ghana alongside other facilities such as over 100 vehicles for the almost run-down transport pool of the Ghana Police Service at a time the public coffers were empty and the country, therefore, disabled from accessing financial support.
Still in the economic woods, it would be difficult to tell the length of lifeline that Nigeria would be willing to give Ghana and how soon.
By A.R. Gomda