The funding is to be provided by the Federal Government, African Development Bank (AfDB), the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and the World Bank (WB). The West African Power Pool (WAPP) North Core Regional Interconnection Project, which would facilitate the sale of electricity from Nigeria to Togo, Benin Republic, Niger and Burkina Faso, is estimated to cost $568 million.).
The North Core Project involves the construction of 875 km of 330 KV and 24 km 225 KV transmission lines from Nigeria to Burkina Faso, through Niger and Benin Republic with associated substations.
Speaking at the opening session of the first Joint Ministerial Steering Committee of WAPP, Minister of Power, Saleh Mamman, an engineer, maintained that the completion of WAPP, which involves the sub-regional interconnection project, is a top priority. The Joint Committee comprises Nigeria, Niger, Benin, Togo, Burkina Faso Regional Electricity Interconnection Project in Abuja.
“This large-scale project is financed by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the World Bank (WB) and the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN), which amount to a total of $568 million,” adding that upon completion of the project, the operation and maintenance of the entire infrastructure shall be handed over to the utility companies of the participating countries.
He expressed confidence that with the commitment and collaboration of WAPP and the development partners, the project will be completed in the third quarter of 2023 and will serve as a sustainable solution and major contributor to the power sector of West Africa. He further stated that the project is aimed at facilitating efficient energy trade in the sub-region among several other benefits.
“This has already been presented to the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government, and approval was got in December 2018. It is also part of the ECOWAS Master Plan for the Development of Regional Generation and Transmission Infrastructure 2019-2033,” he said.
According to the minister, the project will also involve the electrification of rural communities located within a five kilometers radius on both sides of the line, and the implementation of several environmental and social mitigation measures.
WAPP Secretary-General, Mr. Siengui Apollinaire Ki said it is being implemented according to the new model of an institutional framework for implementation and development by WAPP and the countries concerned.
“It is implemented by a Project Management Unit (PMU) which is also tasked to build the infrastructures for the national electricity companies,” he added.
According to him, despite the laudable progress made so far with the project, many challenges still remain. He, therefore, sought for more commitment of WAPP so as to get the project completed within the target time.
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