The Permanent Secretary (Power), Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Louis Edozien, has reaffirmed the commitment of the Federal Government of Nigeria to export electricity to member states of Economic Communities of West African States (ECOWAS) through appropriate Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).
This position of government was contained in a communique` issued at the end of the meeting on the kick-off of the Line Route, Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA), for the second 330kV transmission line between Ikeja West (Nigeria) and Sakete (Benin), organized by West African Power Pool (WAPP) in conjunction with Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), on Saturday, 23rd September 2017, in Abuja.
According to the communique, Mr. Edozien, urged the Communaute` Electrique du Benin (CEB) to settle its accumulated electricity debt to Nigeria and explained that the Nigerian Electricity Industry has moved from government monopoly to private participation. He also stressed that it was necessary to move CEB contract from government multilateral agreement to proper Power Purchase Agreement with the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NBET).
The communique noted that that government position was based on the improvement in the total generation and transmission capacity of the Nigerian System which currently is more than the absorption capacity of the distribution companies, hence, the need to share the balance with neighboring countries.
The communique noted the strong support conveyed by the Vice Chairman of Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Engr. Sanusi Garba on the commitment of Nigeria to export electricity to the neighboring countries especially given that it will not comprise supply within Nigeria.
The meeting according to communique, revealed that the Line Route, Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA), Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) and Environment and Social Management Plan (ESMP) study on the project would commence only when the preliminary approvals have been given by two utilities TCN of Nigeria and CEB of Republic of Benin.
It noted that compensation/settlement process must be completed before construction starts and the relevant national regulations in Nigeria and Benin shall govern the permitting process for the project.
The meeting agreed to identify focal persons for the study from TCN and CEB, and on-site training as well as training for implementation of ESIA and RAP, with the duration of the study put at 12 months, starting from September 2017 to August 2018.
The meeting was attended by the President of ECOWAS who was represented by the Commissioner for Administration and Conferences, Mr. Stephen Nartey, Secretary General of WAPP, Engr. Siengui A. Ki, the Director General of the Communaute` Electrique du Benin, Dr. Karimou Chabi Sika, Managing Director of Mainstream Energy Solution Limited, Engr. Audu Lamu, Chairman of Sahara Energy, Mr. Kola Adesina, represented by Mr. Yemi Osutogun and others stakeholders across the sub region.
By Eric Ephraim Ene