Isaac Anumihe, Abuja
Federal Government yesterday said that the investment requirement for power in the West African sub-region is over $36.4 billion.
Minister of State for Power, Mr Goddy Agba, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari at the ongoing 34th West African Power Pool (WAPP) co-ordination meeting of technical and financial partners, said that this decision was adopted by the 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 through Supplementary Act.
“In addition, the ECOWAS Council of Ministers, upon recommendation from the ECOWAS ministers in charge of energy, issued a directive on the securitisation of cross-border trade in the regional electricity market in order to ensure that, among others, liquidity shall be enhanced in the regional electricity market,” he said.
Agba, however, regretted that several WAPP priority projects involving Nigeria such as Zungeru and Mambilla hydropower facilities are under-implemented. Other projects under-implemented include 330 kilovolt Nigeria-Niger-Benin/Togo-Burkina Interconnection Project.
Also, he said, the preparation of the WAPP Median Backbone involving Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire is currently under procured.
“It is expected that the second transmission line from Nigeria to Benin/Togo shall be ready for financing next year” he said, adding that the development of the 330 kilovolt WAPP Eastern Backbone in Nigeria from Calabar to Jogana through Kashimbila shall commence soon. In his remarks, the chairman of WAPP and Managing Director of Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Usman Mohammed Gur, said that the operationalisation of the regional electricity market would yield socio-economic benefits and uplift the well-being of the ECOWAS citizens.