April 16, 2024

EU, French devt. agency commit N10.7billion to support solar power projects in 7 Northwest States, Niger Republic

Oredola Adeola

The Nigerian Government and French Development Agency (Agence Française de Développement, AFD) have signed a grant of N10.7billion (€25 million) for the establishment of solar power farms to boost power supply in Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano,  Katsina,  Kebbi, Sokoto,  Zamfara State and the Republic of Niger.

This grant agreement was signed by the Nigerian government with the representatives of the EU and AFD on Tuesday.

EnergyDay gathered that the grant targeted at the  Northern Corridor Project is jointly funded by the European Union and AFD. It is expected to be executed by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).

Further findings showed that the aim of the project was to improve the quality of the power supply network in Nigeria, in furtherance of efforts to deepen low-carbon economic growth in Africa.

The project was also aimed at supporting the development of a regional electricity market under West African Power Pool.

Mr. Clement Agba, Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, who signed the agreement on behalf of the Nigerian Government, in Abuja on Tuesday, said that the project was part of the actualisation of the objectives of the National Development Plan 2021 to 2025.

According to the Minister, the signing of the agreement showed that Nigeria was on track in the implementation of the development plan.

He said,“I want to thank the EU and AFD and the French Government for this intervention in Nigeria’s power sector especially as it has to do with transmission lines and substations.

“ Power is very essential and what we are signing today demonstrates this,” Agba noted.

Engr. Sule Abdulaziz, Managing Director of TCN, while commending the France and EU for their support to Nigeria, revealed that the Northern Corridor Project was critical to TCN as it will greatly improve grid stability and the company’s expansion plan.

Emmanuelle Blatmann, France Ambassador to Nigeria, on his part said that France was happy to support the project as this highlighted the strong partnership between Nigeria, France, and the EU.

Blatmann said with this project, which was an interconnected grid from Kebbi State to the Republic of Niger adding that it will help in the development of a regional electricity market.

She said that the project would further integrate economic development throughout the region.

According to her, France was also committed to helping Nigeria achieve its commitment on climate change in line with the Paris agreement.

Mr Xavier Muron, AFD Country Director in Nigeria said that the project was a technical enabler for the integration into the grid of expected solar farms in the North-Western part of Nigeria.

Muron said that poor transmission networks had been a significant bottleneck in many countries for the achievement of mixed diversification.

Speaking on behalf of the EU,  Cecile Tassin-Pelzer, Head of Cooperation, said that the EU appreciated the Team Europe collaboration with the Government of Nigeria.

“EU also appreciates its co-funder the AFD, we have been working together in the power sector since 2017.

”We are happy about this collaboration, particularly in the energy and agricultural sector under the Green Economy Team Europe Initiative.

“ The collaboration is a concrete example of how the EU Global Gateway can contribute to major investments in infrastructure development.

“We are now looking at the implementation of the project which is very important to us, ‘’she said.