By Chris Ochayi
Electricity: The Federal Government, Wednesday, disclosed that it was building power transmission line to link up some countries in the West African sub-region.
Speaking in Abuja at the 2019 participants/key stakeholders interactive forum organised by the Market Operator, the Managing Director of Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, Mr. Mohammed Gur Usman, stated that the project will take a 330KV electricity transmission line right from Nigeria up to Senegal.
He said, “In the whole of West Africa we are the only one that has the experience of 330KV but now 330 KV will run from Nigeria unto Senegal.
“Let me be precise, we are going to have a 330KV that will run from Shiroro to, to Parakou, Parakou to Northern Togo, Northern Ghana to Cote deviore.
“Another one will come from Northern Ghana to Senegal to Guinea-Bissau, to Mali to Burkina Faso and it will join Ghana. This is the study that we have launched.”
To this ends, Usman charged the major stakeholders in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry, NESI, especially, the Market Operator, MO, to be ready to assume the task of regional player in the sector.
He said, “As the Chairman of West Africa Pool, WAP, I made the WAP to draft, the directives which was approved on the 22nd of May and 22nd of December, 2018.
“That is the written of ECOWAS Head of State and Government of 22nf of December 2018. They approved that three directives and what are those directives that we forwarded to ECOWAS for approval are:
“First, All utilities in West Africa must have their revenue requirement. The second directive is that countries that elect not to give the requirement, they should budget for it in a transparent manner.
“This means that if the utilities do not have their course reflective tariff then the countries should budget for it in a transparent manner that is they should provide for it in their national budget.
“We did not stop there, we said that all utilities in west Africa should conduct themselves in such a way that they should do their procurement in a transparent manner- meaning they should adapt competitive procurement of their services and their goods because if we have the budget and we have the money and we apply it in an inefficient manner, it means that cost of energy will soon go up.
“In reality, if it is truly a market is driven by rules and regulation and people have to comply with the rules and there has to be sanction for performance and there has to be a reward of non-performance and a reward for extraordinary performance.
“If a market is existing in such a way that everybody does not performance and can get away with it, there is no way that that market can grow or perform.”
According to him, “TCN may probably cease to exist very soon and then you will have TSP and ISO, ISO will be the one that will be operating the market operator under ISO and everything that I have to do for that transition to take place, I have been doing it daily. Every day I have been doing those things that would lead to those organizations to separate.
“Because we have not applied the market position in our market tenders, in solar, you cannot say that Nigeria has comparative advantage but, in terms of normal generation that would be done by gas and hydro.
“Nigeria still has comparative advantage across West Africa. Which means there is a demand for electricity from here to the rest of West Africa? What we are doing is to enable that happen. To enable that happen, we are going to build a transition line across West Africa so that we can export energy from here to the rest of Africa.
“I am happy to tell you that the design consultancy and the environmental study for the medium backbone were launched.