In Ghana, WAPCo has so far supported 503 students comprising 276 males and 227 females in their host communities, at a total cost of US$ 813,000.00.
Mr Gregory Germani, the Managing Director of WAPCo, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, said this year alone, a total of US$ 137,100.00 had been spent on undergraduate scholarships (US$ 114,000.00) and procuring start-up tools (US$ 23,100.00).
WAPCo, owner and operator of the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP), commenced commercial operations in 2011 by transporting Natural Gas in Nigeria, Benin, Togo, and Ghana in a safe, responsible, and reliable manner to create value for our diverse stakeholders.
WAPCo is owned by Chevron West African Gas Pipeline Limited (36.9 per cent); Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (24.9 per cent); Shell Overseas Holdings Limited (17.9 per cent); and Takoradi Power Company Limited (16.3 per cent), Societe Togolaise de Gaz (2 per cent) and Societe BenGaz S.A. (2 per cent).
The Managing Director said the Company’s social investment interventions were uniform across the four countries, meaning that all countries of operation enjoy similar interventions.
He said at the beginning of its operations, WAPCo’s social interventions focused on physical (bricks-and-mortar) projects in the areas of education, health, and water and sanitation.
In 2012, the Company undertook a participatory needs assessment in four countries to validate its social interventions.
At the end of the exercise, “Skills Acquisition” for the youth emerged as a priority in all stakeholder communities.
Mr Germani said the goal was to fight unemployment by empowering the youth in host communities with employable skills.
He said in line with the outcome of the needs assessment conducted in 2012, WAPCo introduced the Livelihood Support Programme, consisting of a Community Youth Enterprise Scheme (CYES) and a Scholarship Scheme.
YES was initiated as an avenue for basic school leavers in the host communities, who could not pursue further studies due to financial constraints to learn a trade of their choice in recognized vocational and technical institutions across each country.
He said beneficiaries were trained in vocations such as Welding and Fabrication, Fashion and Design, Catering and Hotel Management, Auto Mechanic Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Hair Dressing and Beautification.
After graduation, WAPCo provides them with start-up tools/equipment to help them start their own businesses.
The Scholarship Scheme was designed to support brilliant but needy students in our host communities to pursue senior high school education in Benin and Togo, and tertiary education in Nigeria and Ghana, irrespective of the course of study chosen, he said.