SPEECH BY ECOWAS COMMISSIONER ADMIN & FINANCE

 

Economic Community

Of West African States

 

Communauté Economique

Des Etats de l’Afrique de l’Ouest

 

General Secretariat / Secrétariat Général

 

 

330 kV Nigeria – Benin

Interconnection Reinforcement Project

Kickoff Meeting of the Line Route and Environmental and Social Impact Assessment Study

Abuja : September 22, 2017

REMARKS BY

ECOWAS COMMISSIONER,

ADMINISTRATION AND FINANCE

The Permanent Secretary, Power, of the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Mr Louis Edozien;

The Chairperson of the West African Power Pool and Managing Director / Chief Executive of the Transmission Company of Nigeria, Mr. Usman Gur Mohammed;

The Honorary Member of the West African Power Pool Executive Board, Engineer Joseph Makoju;

The Secretary General of the West African Power Pool, Mr. Siengui Ki;

The Director General of the Communauté Electrique du Bénin, Doctor Karimou Chabi Sika;

The Managing Director of Mainstream Energy Solutions Limited, Engineer Audu Lamu  

The Managing Director of Sahara Energy, Mr Kola Adesina

Distinguished Representatives of Funding Agencies;

All other protocols observed;

Ladies and Gentlemen

Allow me to convey to this august gathering the greetings and salutations of His Excellency, Marcel Alain De Souza, President of the ECOWAS Commission, who due to calendar constraints is unable to be here and has asked me to take part in the proceedings in his stead.  Allow me to also register the gratitude of President De Souza to His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, through the The Permanent Secretary, Power, of the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing of the Federal Republic of Nigeria here present, for his steadfast support towards the development of the ECOWAS energy integration ideals and for the warm welcome and hospitality accorded to our guests since their arrival here in Abuja. To our Partners in development, I join my voice to the Speakers before me in expressing the thanks of ECOWAS for your continued support to the electricity sub-sector of West Africa.

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen

The vision of ECOWAS as pertaining to electricity and put in simple terms is to one day see the abundant energy endowment in the sub-region leveraged so that all ECOWAS citizens have access to constant electricity and enable someone sitting in Guinea Bissau or Senegal to buy electricity from Nigeria or Cote d’Ivoire at competitive costs.  ECOWAS Member States have acknowledged that past efforts to achieve national self-sufficiency in electricity supply have been uneconomical due to the high cost of establishing power generation and transmission infrastructure. This is the primary premise upon which the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government in their wisdom created the West African Power Pool in 1999 and established the Organisation in 2006 to integrate the national power systems into an unified regional electricity market with the expectation that such mechanism would, over the medium to long-term, ensure the citizens of ECOWAS Member States with a stable and reliable electricity supply at competitive costs.  The ECOWAS Heads of State gave WAPP the mission to promote and develop infrastructure for power generation and transmission, as well as, to assure the coordination of electric power exchanges between ECOWAS Member States.

We have noted with much satisfaction the good progress made by WAPP given its relatively young existence. The WAPP Membership has grown from 13 Members in 2006 to 29 Members at the present.  The infrastructure program is gradually moving from the preparation to implementation stage and we have already begun seeing the fruits of our hard work.  As of October 2012, 9 out of the 14 mainland ECOWAS Member States are electrically linked and indications are that the remaining Member States shall be interconnected by 2019. Various interconnection reinforcement and power generation projects are also under construction or in stages of advanced development that would permit stable power exchanges between the Member States.  This is an appropriate juncture to once again convey the recognition and congratulations of the entire ECOWAS community to the WAPP Organisation, through you Distinguished Chairperson Mohammed, for the remarkable accomplishment on the 330 kilovolt Nigeria – Niger – Togo/Benin – Burkina Project especially with regards to resource mobilisation.  This project joins other hallmark WAPP projects such as the 225 kilovolt Cote d’Ivoire – Liberia – Sierra Leone – Guinea Interconnection Project, the OMVG Energy Project and the WAPP Information and Coordination Center in completely transforming the landscape of the ECOWAS electricity sub-sector.  We give our strong encouragement for the implementation of these projects to be accelerated to not only consolidate further the interconnectivity among ECOWAS Member States but also alleviate the power supply situation.  

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen

Our meeting here today is yet another demonstration of the steps that ECOWAS with its Member States and Agencies is taking to ensure that resilient backbone infrastructure characterise the sub-region’s drive to improve the livelihood of its citizenry.  It is an established fact that without abundant, affordable, stable and accessible energy, the development agenda set by our Principals shall prove elusive.  The 330 kilovolt Nigeria – Benin Interconnection Reinforcement Project is yet another facet of the engagement of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the West Africa region that has been demonstrated time and time again.  ECOWAS salutes this leadership role of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that has led to significant strides being made in not only the power sector but in other areas of development as well.  The 330 kilovolt Nigeria – Benin Interconnection Reinforcement Project shall aim to augment the power exchange capacity of its predecessor that was actually the very first project commissioned within the framework of the WAPP at its establishment in 2006.   The project shall also further stabilise the WAPP Coastal Transmission Backbone spanning from Nigeria to Cote d’Ivoire through Benin, Togo and Ghana, and this in turn increases the potential for power exports into the landlocked Member States of ECOWAS such as Niger, Burkina and Mali.  The importance of the project cannot therefore be over-emphasised and we take this opportunity to register our thanks to the NEPAD-IPPF of the African Development Bank for supporting the pre-investment studies.  We call upon our other Partners to already earmark the project for financing in 2018 as we have no doubt that its techno-economic feasibility and environ-social viability shall be demonstrated.

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen

Allow me to conclude by once again reassuring this august meeting of the firm commitment of His Excellency, the President of ECOWAS Commission and the entire Community to provide the necessary support and facilitation in the furtherance of the energy integration cause of West Africa.  The expectations of our Heads of State and Government remain high and as we have done in the past, the Commission and WAPP shall continue to work closely with all stakeholders to ensure that among others, instruments required for moving the WAPP Agenda forward are provided. On that note Ladies and Gentlemen, I sincerely thank you for your attention.

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