Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The 19th virtual Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari has approved Nigeria’s contribution of $2 million to the 2020 budget of the the West African Power Pool (WAPP).
Minister of Power, Saleh Mamma, made the disclosure at the end of the meeting held at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The specialised pool covers 14 of the 15 countries of the regional economic community, namely Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone.
The West African Power Pool (WAPP) was created by a decision at the 22nd Summit of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Authority of Heads of State and Government in 1999.
At the 29th Summit of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government held in Niamey, in 2006, it adopted the Articles of Agreement for WAPP organization and functions.
According to Saleh, who briefed alongside his colleagues, Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami and Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, said participation in the regional market would generate immediate foreign exchange for Nigeria as oil revenue is dwindling.
He said: “The pool is about having synergy within the West African region. The decision has been taken by ECOWAS, it’s for the generation of electricity of the region, so as to have more constant and steady power supply. It’s like the national grid in Nigeria. So we are going to have regional grid. It means, in case there is a failure in one country, another can supplement. The $2 million is a contribution.”
Also commenting, Mohammed said: “The West African power pool is made up of all West African countries because each member state contributes annually to the cost of power transmission across the pool. Because, the consequence is that if there is a problem in one country, it could inadvertently affect the other country.
“This was created in 1999 by authorities of the West African Heads of State. It’s a common pool and every country has its own section and our contribution for this year is $2 million. It’s not as if we are giving $2 million to ECOWAS, we are simply paying our own contribution for the transmission from Nigeria to other West African countries and vice-versa.”
The Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, said council approved over N30 billion for roads in Kano and Lagos, presented by the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola.