Nigeria government boosts West African Power Pool with $2m contribution

...Approves N30.2bn for roads in Kano, Lagos ...Another N2.8b for Rail Security, e-government

The Federal government on Wednesday approved Nigeria’s contribution of $2 million to the 2020 budget of the West African Power Pool (WAPP).

The Power Pool which covers 14 of the 15 ECOWAS countries, including, Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, and Sierra Leone, was created in 1999, at the 22nd Summit of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Authority of Heads of State and Government.

Minister of Power, Mamman Saleh who announced this while briefing State House Correspondents after the 19 weekly Virtual meetings of the Federal Executive Council FEC, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, said participation in the regional market will generate immediate foreign exchange for Nigeria as oil revenue is dwindling.

The Minister said the Articles of Agreement for WAPP organization and functions was adopted at the 29th Summit of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government held in Niamey, in 2006

He explained that the “The pool is about having synergy within the West African region. The decision has been taken by ECOWAS, it’s for the generation of electricity in the region, so as to have a more constant and steady power supply. It’s like the national grid in Nigeria, so we are going to have a regional grid. It means in case there is a failure in one country, another can supplement it. The $2 million is a contribution.”

Each member state contributes annually to the cost of power transmission across the pool.

“The consequence is that if there is a problem in one country it could inadvertently affect the other country, It’s not as if we are giving $2 million to ECOWAS, we are simply paying our own contribution for the transmission from Nigeria to other wear African countries and viz-visa.”

Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, said FEC also approved over N30.2billion for roads in Kano and Lagos, presented by the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola.

It approved the sum of N22,247,332,000 for the award of contract for the reconstruction of the Apapa-Oworonsoki-Ojota Phase Section II, an 8.1kilometer stretch road. It also approved N8 billion augmentation for the award of contract for the dualisation of Kano-Maiduguri road (about 560 kilometers).

Mohammed said: “I want to report that he presented a memo which was approved in council today for the award of a contract for the reconstruction of the Apapa-Oworonsoki-Ojota Phase Section II, which is bit land Interchange, 8.1-kilometer stretch.

Mohammed explained that the Federal government had in 2018, approved an award of contract to Dangote Industry By the time the award was made, there was this Section of the road that was in fairly good condition. But with the construction of the Oworonsoki project coming to an end, it now makes better sense to include that section which was fairly good.

“This contract was awarded today for the sum of N22,247,332,000. But you must know that this is one of the projects being awarded under the Infrastructural Tax Credit Scheme. In other words, it is awarded to Dangote and Dangote will construct it and over the years, it will be deducted from the tax payable by the group. It is one of the various means of PPP that this administration has embraced. It is not only restricted to Oworonsoki-Apapa road, it is the same system that is being used in Obajana-Kaba road. Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas (NLNG) is also using the same formula for the bridge to link Bonny and Boro in Rivers State.
“Another memo which he presented was for the award of contract for the dualisation of Kano-Maiduguri road.

“That is Kano-Wudil-Shuarin section, about 560 kilometers between Kano and Maiduguri. The section awarded today is actually more of an approval for an estimated total cost.

They found out that at the time of the awards of the contract, certain conditions have to be known. He sought a revision and an increment in the sum of N8 billion which will bring the total cost of the contract to N63 billion. It was approved by the council today.”

Minister of Transportation, Amaechi, said council the sum of N1,208,335,464.60, inclusive of 7.5% tax for the supply, deployment, installation, testing and commissioning of security equipment for seven railway stations.
The stations are mainly Idu, Rigasa, Jere, Kubwa, Kaduna, and Kano in favour of Messrs Avonics Services Nigeria Limited, with a completion period of 12 months.

The Director-General for Bureau for Public Procurement (BPP), Mamman Ahmadu, said the council approved the sum of N1.6 billion for e-government procurement.

He explained: “E-government procurement has the potential of improving procurement process, eliminate corruption and reduce the leak time in the procurement process itself. There have been a lot of complaints about the long time it takes to go through the due process. With the establishment of this, we will reduce that time.

“It also removes subjectivity from the process. There have been lots of complaints about subjectivity in the approval process, that will be dealt with squarely when it is eventually launched.

“E-government procurement is a global trend and from the research carried out by the World Bank, it had been established that countries that have taken off with e-government procurement have witnessed exponential economic growth and they have stimulated ICT in those countries.

“It will reduce corruption to the barest minimum because it will reduce the human interface within the process.”
Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, said the council approved the national policy on virtual engagements in federal public institutions.

It’s a joint memorandum between the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation.

Pantami said: “In January 2020 as we all know, the world had been taken by surprise with the emergence of COVID-19 in which the World Health Organization declared it as a global health challenge. By 11th March 2020, WHO declared it as a pandemic and that COVID-19 has disrupted the world and the way we conduct our activities, and now virtual engagements are becoming the new normal.

“It is because of this that we came up with a memo that will institutionalize virtual engagements in federal public institutions in order to make sure that even after COVID, virtual engagement is recognized by the Federal Government of Nigeria as a medium of communication. It is because of this we came up with this memo.”

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