The Minister of State, Power, Mr Goddy Jeddy-Agba, on Thursday pledged Federal Government’s support and commitment to the implementation of the $36.4 billion masterplan for the development of the West African regional generation and transmission infrastructure.
Jeddy-Agba, who declared open the 34th technical and financial partners coordination meeting of the West African Power Pool (WAPP) in Abuja, explained that the masterplan identified the priority projects for implementation by the WAPP between 2019 and 2033.
The minister pointed out that the masterplan was adopted by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Ministers in charge of energy on December 4, 2018 and subsequently approved by the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government on December 22, 2018.
“In addition, the ECOWAS Council of Ministers upon recommendation by the ECOWAS Ministers in charge of energy, issued a directive on the securitization of cross-border power trade in the regional electricity market. This is to ensure that among others, liquidity shall be enhanced in the regional electricity market.”
Addressing the financial partners, the minister said the implementation of the plan shall require the close attention of the technical and financial partners and urged them to support the region.
“We shall, therefore, look forward to the usual solidarity and engagement with the partners in the realisation of these projects.”
Jeddy-Agba listed some government’s projects in support of energy development for the region. The projects include Zungeru and Mambilla hydropower plants, 330 kilovolt Nigeria to Niger, Benin/Togo to Burkina Interconnection project.
Others are the WAPP Median Backbone involving Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire for a second transmission line from Nigeria to those countries; and the 330kV WAPP Eastern Backbone passing through Calabar, Kano and Kashimbilla.
Chairman of WAPP, Mr Usman Gur Mohammed, said the regional agency is fully operationalising a regional electricity market within ECOWAS. He said it is a market that shall yield socioeconomic benefits and uplift the wellbeing of the ECOWAS citizenry.
Mohammed, who is also the Managing Director of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), said: “It is a market that shall spur confidence and attract the private sector to take up investments without anxiety. It shall represent another positive step in the removal of borders among ECOWAS member states.”
The ECOWAS Minister, Commissioner for Energy and Mines, Mr Sedikou Douka, said WAPP is currently executing 20 power projects and 12 of them worth $7billion will generate 2,000 megawatts (Mw) of electricity by 2020.
He said another seven projects funded for $1.5billion will generate 1,300Mw. He lauded international finance partners for the support.
Douka, however, urged power distribution utility firms to follow up on revenue collection from their customers. “If we can get generate and transmit power, the revenue should be recovered by the distribution firms. The distribution arm should not be weak link in the value chain.”
Jeddy-Agba said WAPP is expected to commission the Cote d’ Ivoire- Liberia-Sierra Leone-Guinea Interconnection project, the OMVG Senegal-the Gambia, Guinea- Bissau interconnection project and the Guinea-Mali Interconnection project in 2023.
He made this known during a ceremony to launch the implementation of the project at the 14th WAPP General Assembly meeting in Abuja.
He assured the organization of the support of the Federal Government in facilitation of the implementation of the project.