Nigerian Govt, EU, AFD Partner To Improve Nation’s Power

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Clement Agba

The Nigerian Government and the French Development Agency (AFD) have signed a grant agreement of €25 million for the Northern Corridor Project, a power project.

The project is jointly funded by the European Union and the AFD.

The Honourable Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba, and the AFD Country Director in Nigeria, Xavier Muron, signed the agreement on Wednesday in Abuja in the presence of the Ambassador of France to Nigeria, Emmanuelle Batman, and the Head of Cooperation at the European Union Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ms Cecile Tassin-Pelzer.

The Northern Corridor Project, being implemented by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), is meant to strengthen low-carbon economic growth in West Africa by improving the quality of the electricity network in Nigeria and supporting the development of a regional electricity market under the West African Power Pool (WAPP).

A statement on Wednesday by the Embassy of France in Nigeria, explained that the specific objectives of the project, in line with the Nigerian Energy Transition Plan (ETP) are to: reinforce globally the north-west network and develop access to electricity for the population; help evacuate/distribute the solar generated power from future projects in the North; participate in the WAPP interconnection project with the Niger Republic.”

According to the statement, the project will build more than 800km of 330 kV double circuit transmission lines and construct or upgrade 13 substations.

The statement further read: “The grant agreement signed today represents the EU’s contribution to the project while the AFD contribution of €202 million was signed in December 2020. The total cost of the project is around 238 million Euros including a 12 million Euros contribution from TCN.”

The expected impacts of the project include 5GW additional evacuation capacity to be created under the project; the Potential Transmission of 17TWh of additional electricity every year; the Possibility of several millions of people having access to electricity and better electricity service in the short term; creation of 600 jobs (500 during the construction phase and 100 in the operation phase).

AFD Country Director in Nigeria, Mr Xavier Muron, highlighted the importance of such a project as a technical enabler for the integration into the grid of the expected solar farms in the North-West part of the country. He noted that poor transmission network has been a significant bottleneck in many countries

Speaking at the agreement signing ceremony, the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, This project will help TCN to operationalize its “Transmission Expansion Plan”, through the construction of additional Transmission Lines and Substations across nine states in the northern part of the country – Niger, Kebbi, Sokoto, Kaduna, Kano, Jigawa, Bauchi and Nassarawa” said expected solar farms in the North-West part of the country.

He noted that poor transmission network has been a significant bottleneck in many countries for the achievement of mix diversification.

According to the Ambassador of France to Nigeria, Emmanuelle Blatmann: “France is committed to helping Nigeria achieve its commitments on climate change in line with the Paris agreement and she welcomes this Team Europe piece of work to address it”.

Speaking on behalf of the European Union, the Head of Cooperation, Cecile Tassin-Pelzer said: “We appreciate this Team Europe collaboration with the Government of Nigeria, which is a concrete example of how the EU Global Gateway can contribute to major investments in infrastructure development”.

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