Security Concerns Imperil WAPP And Nigeria’s Electricity Export Ambitions

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Security challenges sweeping through West African nations pose a significant threat to the anticipated completion of the West African Power Pool (WAPP); particularly the 330KV North Core Project. The project, spanning Benin, Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria, and Togo, faces potential delays, as outlined by WAPP in Abuja.

WAPP Secretary General, Siengui Apollinaire, disclosed that the ambitious over $700 Million project, aimed at facilitating electricity export from Nigeria to landlocked West African countries, now faces an extended completion timeline of 2026. Despite substantial progress, Apollinaire emphasised the critical need for decisive action to address security challenges hindering construction progress.

Highlighting the project’s vulnerability to persistent security issues, Apollinaire stressed the essential commitment of concerned states in bolstering security measures for the project’s success. While acknowledging progress in establishing National Security Coordination Committees, he cited the need for tangible results in Nigeria and Benin Republic.

Sule Ahmed Abdulaziz, WAPP Executive Chairman and Managing Director of Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), underscored the project’s scope; encompassing the construction of 880Km of 330KV and 33Km of 225KV high voltage transmission lines. Beyond mere electricity transmission, Abdulaziz revealed the project’s broader goal of creating a dynamic, interconnected network reshaping the energy landscape.

Simultaneously, the Federal Government, responding to the decade-long financial crisis and failures in the electricity distribution sector, transferred its 40 Percent stake in the 11 electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) from the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) to the Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MOFI). Authorized by Minister of Finance Wale Edun, this move aims to address the financial turmoil in the sector.

This strategic shift, occurring ten years post-privatisation of the power sector, signifies a critical response to the sector’s challenges. The document dated January 10, 2024, outlines MOFI’s responsibility to manage the Federal Government’s equity holding in the distribution companies. While stakeholders express optimism, the prevailing power sector crisis, especially in revenue collection, remains a pressing concern. Plans to sell the remaining 40 Percent shares in the DisCos and other assets in 2024 were disclosed by BPE last year.

 

 

 

 

 

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