Mr Sule Abdulaziz, acting Managing Director of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), has charged members of the West African Power Pool (WAPP) to commit to increasing access to electricity in the West African region.
In a statement in Abuja on Tuesday, TCN’s General Manager Public Affairs, Mrs Ndidi Mbah, quoted Abdulaziz, who is also the Chairman, Executive Board of WAPP, as giving the charge at the Pool’s 49th Executive Board meeting recently held in Cotonou, Benin Republic.
Welcoming members of the Board to the meeting, Abdulaziz stressed the need for member utilities to pay their dues promptly, to enable WAPP continue to discharge its obligations to member states.
He commended member utilities that had paid their dues for the year 2021, despite the effects of COVID-19, and equally encouraged others who were yet to pay, to do so.
The TCN MD said that it was common knowledge the world economy had been negatively impacted by the COVID 19 pandemic, with attendant financial difficulties for all businesses.
He, however, noted that there was the need for WAPP to build resilience at this critical time, to enable the Pool achieve its goals.
Abdulaziz expressed satisfaction with the reports on the implementation status of WAPP priority projects, saying that it showed the projects were progressing, despite the COVID 19 pandemic and its disruptive effects.
He assured the meeting that related challenges, such as Right of Way (RoW) issues, were being addressed.
The MD commended the Secretary-General for the successful negotiation with WAPP Technical and Financial Partners on the financing of a significant number of WAPP priority projects.
Abdulaziz also expressed gratitude to the Government and people of Benin, and in particular, His Excellency, Mr. Patrice Talon, President of the Republic of Benin, for the warm welcome accorded the Board members in Cotonou.
Also speaking at the meeting, the Secretary-General of WAPP, Siengui Apollinaire KI, disclosed that within the first quarter of 2021, Niger Republic inaugurated NIGELEC’s 90MW PPP-built crude oil plant in Ghana.
KI also gave a brief update on the implementation status of other WAPP priority projects, including the Burkina Faso Regional Solar Park, which, he said, was at the pre-qualification stage.
“While the Mali Regional Solar Park; the Gambia Regional Solar Park; the Niger Regional Solar Park, and the WAPP Median Dorsal are all undergoing feasibility studies”, he said.