Minister of power, Saleh Mamman, yesterday, said the country would complete Zungeru and Mambilla hydropower facilities as well as the 330 kilovolt Nigeria, Niger Benin, Togo, Burkina interconnection power network as part of measures to compliment Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)’s West African Power Pool (WAPP).
WAPP is a specialised agency aimed at integrating national power systems in the region into a unified regional electricity market with the goal of providing in the medium and long term, regular and reliable energy at a competitive cost to the region.
While WAPP had recognised that power consumers in Nigeria and other West African countries pay the highest for electricity supply in the world, the ECOWAS Master Plan for the Development of Regional Generation and Transmission Infrastructure has an investment requirement of about $36.4 billion.
Mamman, who spoke at the WAPP Technical and Financial Partners of the 14th Session of the WAPP General Assembly in Abuja said: “Several of WAPP priority projects involving Nigeria are already under implementation.”
Represented by the Minister of State for Power, Goddy Jedy Agba, Mamman said pursuant to preparation of the WAPP Median Backbone involving Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana, and Cote d’Ivoire, is procurement that has started for some key projects as it is expected that the second transmission line from Nigeria to Benin/Togo would be ready for financing next year.
“The development of the 330 kilovolt WAPP Eastern Backbone in Nigeria that shall be from Calabar to Jogana through Kashimbila shall commence soon. We shall, therefore, look forward to the usual solidarity and engagement with the Partners in the realisation of these projects,” Mamman stated.
The regional body had noted that a central control centre would be placed by next year to manage and operate all electricity grids in West Africa.
WAPP’s Executive Board Chairman, Usman Mohammed said the region is steadily approaching the full operationalisation of a regional electricity market within the ECOWAS sub-region to deliver a market that would yield socioeconomic benefits and uplift the well-being of the ECOWAS citizenry.
He said the directive on the securitisation of cross-border power trade in the regional electricity market that was adopted by the ECOWAS Council of Ministers in December 2018 must be deployed to address imminent challenges.
To ensure the realisation of the body’s aspirations, Muhammed said it was critical to reinforce collaboration with financial partners in order to ensure that the key underlying issues that may affect the group are addressed.
According to him, the region must ensure realisation of a seamless and efficient regional power grid, attain market functionality and the existence of the right knowhow to manage both technical as well as market-related issues.
Muhammed disclosed that the construction of the WAPP Information and coordination Center in Benin continues to progress and its completion will fundamentally change the landscape of the electricity business within ECOWAS given that significantly more options shall be available to meet the power supply needs of the member States,” he said.
“Important to the infrastructure and market development is the well-being of the power utilities as well as the governance of the regional electricity sub-sector,” he stated.
The Chairman added that healthy and performing utilities were a critical success factor for the sustainable advancement of the market.