The Minister of State for Power, Mr Goddy Jeddy-Agba, has said the federal government is committed towards implementing the $36.4 billion (about N13.2 trillion) Energy Master Plan for the development of the West African regional generation and transmission infrastructure.
He also launched the North Core project to build a transmission line from Nigeria across Niger to Burkina Faso.
Speaking at the 34th technical and financial partners meeting of the West African Power Pool (WAPP) in Abuja on Thursday and launch of the North Core project hosted by Nigeria, the minister said the master-plan 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.
Addressing the financial partners, the minister said the implementation of the plan shall require their close attention and urged them to support the region.
Agba listed some government’s projects in support of the regional energy to include Zungeru and Mambilla hydropower plants, 330 kilovolts (KV) Nigeria to Niger, Benin/Togo to Burkina Interconnection Project.
Mr Agba, who also launched the 330kV WAPP North Core Interconnection Project, said it is to build a 330kV transmission line from Kainji to connect Niger Republic, Togo, Benin to Burkina Faso.
The priority project is being driven in Nigeria by TCN and other WAPP member countries to boost Nigeria’s power export capacity and to provide cheaper energy in West Africa.
“In 2023, we expect this project to be commissioned and I therefore exhort all involved to make this a reality,” the minister said.
The 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 socio-economic benefits and uplift the well-being 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.”
For the launch of the North Core project, Mohammed said the implementation office domiciled in Abuja began operation since May 2019 as he assured of completing it by 2023.
The ECOWAS Minister, Commissioner for Energy and Mines, Mr Sedikou Douka, said WAPP is currently executing 20 power projects adding that 12 of them worth $7bn will generate 2,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity by 2020.
He said seven other projects funded for $1.5bn will generate 1,300MW as he lauded international finance partners for the support.
Mr Douka however urged power distribution utility firms to follow up on revenue collection from their customers.
“If we can get generation and transmit power, the revenue should be recovered by the distribution firms. The Distribution should not be weak link in the value chain,” he noted.