By Johnbosco Agbakwuru – Abuja
The Federal Executive Council, FEC, on Wednesday approved $2 million which is Nigeria’s annual contribution to the West African Power Pool, WAPP.
The West African Power Pool was created in 1999 by Authorities of the West African Heads of State and every country has its own section.
The approval was disclosed by the Minister of Power, Saleh Mamman, while briefing State House correspondents at the end of the FEC meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The Minister explained that the pool is about having synergy within the West African region, adding that it was for the generation of electricity for the region, so as to have more constant and steady power supply.
He said, “The Federal Ministry of Power today (Wednesday), presented a memo to council seeking approval for Nigeria’s contribution to the 2020 budget of the West African Power Pool (WAPP), it is a specialized agency of ECOWAS.
“It is important to recognize that participation in this regional market will also generate immediate foreign exchange for Nigeria as oil revenue is dying.
“The pool is about having synergy within the West African region. The decision has been taken by ECOWAS, it’s for the generation of electricity for the region so as to have more constant and steady power supply.
“It’s like the national grid in Nigeria, now we are going to have regional grid. It means in case there is a failure in one country, another can supplement. The $2 million is a contribution.
“The West African power pool is made up of all West African countries because each member state contributes annually to the cost of power transmission across the pool. The consequence is that, if there is a problem in one country it could inadvertently affect the other country.
“This was created in 1999 by authorities of the West African Heads of State. It’s a common pool and every country has its own section and our contribution for this year is $2 million.
“It’s not as if we are giving $2 million to ECOWAS, we are simply paying our own contribution for the transmission from Nigeria to other West African countries and viz-visa.”
Explaining more on the approval, he said, “The pool is about trying to have coordination and synergy among West African countries. It’s for the generation of electricity throughout the region so as to have a robust, constant, and steady power supply.
“It’s just like the national grid we have here in Nigeria. Now, we want to have a regional grid. In case, there is a failure in any of the countries, so, there will be an agreement.”
He further explained that when any organization is created, it has to be funded, adding,” Every country has to give its contribution. Nigeria’s contribution this time around is about US$2million.”
Also speaking on the approval, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said, “What the minister is saying is that there is what is called West Africa Power Pool. The West Africa Power Pool is a poll made up of all West African countries because of transmission of power.
“Each country will produce its own power. But there is a line that runs through the whole of West Africa. Each member state contributes annually to the cost of power transmission across pool.
“The consequence is that if there is a problem in one country, it could inadvertently affect other countries. So, this was created in 1999 by the Authority of the West African Head of State. So, it’s like a common pool and every country has its own section.
“And our own contribution for this year is $2million. It’s not as if we are giving $2million to ECOWAS, no, no, no. We are simply paying our own contribution for the transmission to other African countries and vice versa.”