February 25, 2024

Nigerian Government guarantees social safeguard payments for communities affected by Nig-Niger-Burkina Faso power project

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Oredola Adeola

The Nigerian Government has restated its commitment to the release of social safeguard payments for the resettlement of communities that are affected by the construction of the $568 million West African North-Core/Dorsale Nord regional (Nigeria-Niger-Benin-Togo-Burkina Faso) interconnection transmission line, under the West African Power Pool (WAPP).

The representative of the Nigerian Government in the deal made this known at the WAPP Mid-Term review of the North Core 330kV Nigeria-Niger-Benin-Togo-Burkina Faso project with the World Bank representatives in Abuja, at the weekend.

EnergyDay gathered that the project is jointly funded by the Nigerian Government, African Development Bank (AfDB), Agence Française de Développement (AFD), and the World Bank (WB).

The project involves the construction of approximately 875 km of 330 kV and 24 km of 225 kV transmission lines from Nigeria to Togo, Niger Republic, and the Benin Republic with associated substations.

Shubham Chaudhuri, World Bank’s Country Director for Nigeria, in his remark during the meeting said that the objective of the joint mid-term review mission by the World Bank, Africa Development Bank (AFDB), and the Agence Francaise de Development (AFD) is to discuss the results achieved and constraint to the implementation of the remaining project activities and the Northern Corridor project.

According to him, some of the constraints include Social Safeguard payments steps in terms of resettlement action plan (RAP) implementation in Nigeria; actions and implementation plan in order to ensure Nigeria’s electricity is pooled into the system by November 2024.

Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu, in his reaction to the issues of Social Safeguard payment, promised the provision has been made in the 2022 budget for the compensation of some of the communities that are likely to be affected by the transmission lines.

According to him, compensation would commence as soon as all required processes are put in place. He, therefore, urged the contractors to move to the site, assuring that adequate security measures with the involvement of the Nigerian military.

The Minister further urged all funding partners to be aligned to avoid delay in the execution of the project.

The MD/CEO, TCN Engr. Dr. Sule Ahmed Abdulaziz represented by the ED, TSP, Engr. Victor Adewumi

EnergyDay’s check further showed that the ground-breaking ceremony for the project was held in February 2022, in Niamey, Niger. It is also expected to benefit all the communities located within a 5km radius on both sides of the line.

At completion, the operation and maintenance of the transmission lines are expected to be managed by utility companies across all the participating countries. It is expected to be completed in the 3rd quarter of 2023 and will get supply from both hydro or gas-based power plants in Nigeria.

The transmission line is also expected to stretch from Birnin Kebbi to Ouagadougou via Zabori and Niamey and from Zabori to Malanville with five associated processing substations dedicated to strengthening power exchanges between the countries concerned.

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