CEM REPORT | Nigeria and other 14 countries in the West African region will benefit from a $2 million grant for electricity research.
The grant came from the African Development Fund, the concessional window of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB), to the ECOWAS Regional Electricity Regulatory Authority, as contribution for electricity reforms in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
This is according to a circular titled “ECOWAS: African Development Fund approves $2 million technical grant to boost electricity reforms” recently released.
The grant signed by the board of the financial institution on Friday, June 24, bears the ultimate objective of stimulating cross-border electricity trade while also improving energy access in the 15 ECOWAS countries covering about 6.1 million km².
Solomon Sarpong, AFDB, Project Team Leader, stated that the project will help boost electricity supply in the region and make it a viable investment sector to serve a population of about 360 million in the bloc.
“Ultimately, this project will facilitate regional electricity trade and help improve access to electricity.
“It will address major causes of fragility, such as infrastructure bottlenecks, youth unemployment, environmental challenges, gender inequalities, and regional development imbalances,” he said.
The electricity research fund has five components. The first involves selecting electricity regulatory principles and key performance indicators from the bank’s flagship Electricity Regulatory Index for Africa report, to be adopted by the ECOWAS Regional Electricity Regulatory Authority.
As part of this component, the project will build capacity in Nigeria and other member countries for collecting and reporting on these indicators on a common platform.
The second component will involve conducting a study in order to update a comparative analysis of electricity tariffs and their underlying drivers across the electricity value chain of ECOWAS.
The third involves developing a centralized database management system that will provide a platform for digitally collecting relevant energy information from member countries, storing it, and disseminating them on a common digital platform.
The fourth component will assess and identify project bottlenecks and risks in ECOWAS member countries and recommend a coherent approach to progressively address ground-level barriers to investment in the power sector in pre- and post-establishment phases of the regional electricity market.
The final component focuses on programme management and capacity building, which will be co-financed with the Regional Electricity Regulatory Authority. All components of the project will include gender-disaggregated data.
Nigeria electricity continues to fall below the required minimum of 105,000MWh required to record some level of stability in power supply in the country.
With the power grid collapse becoming a reoccurring decimal stability in power generation and distribution may still be far ahead.
Although, CEM reported that, President Muhammadu Buhari said the country is making investment in solar power grids.