The World Bank Support mission has converged in Nigeria’s capital to assess the level of implementation of the ECOWAS Regional Electricity Access Project (ECOWAS-REAP) and the Regional Electricity Access and Battery Energy Storage Technology (BEST).
A Project that is projected to promote access to electricity for 2.5 million people in the region is part of the ECOWAS mandate to address issues of low production and economic downturn within the member states.
In a statement by the ECOWAS commission communication office in Abuja, Salett Nogueira reviewed that the general objective of the mission is to assess progress by the Regional Coordination Unit (RCU) based in Abuja and the National Implementation Units (UMOP) based in the Member States.
According to her, the World Bank support mission is expected to stay for the period of 7 to 15, October 2022 in Abuja, Nigeria, hence the two projects are crucial to hunger and poverty eradication in the region.
“Regarding the ECOWAS Regional Electricity Access Project (ECOWAS-REAP), the mission will specifically address issues related to the execution of contracts for the design, supply, and installation of electricity distribution infrastructure; compensation of project-affected people; monitoring of disbursement targets; the progress of the action plan of the last implementation support mission and the tracking of the indicators of the project results framework.
“As for the Regional Project for Access to Electricity and Battery Energy Storage Technology (BEST), the mission will highlight the progress and challenges to be met to meet the commitments of the financing agreements; the level of preparation of the electricity access component feasibility study; the bidding process for the recruitment of consulting engineers and works for companies; carrying out environmental and social impact studies (ESIA) and Resettlement Action Plans (RAP) as well as budgets to be allocated to compensate affected populations.
“During this support mission, progress, difficulties, as well as the actions and means necessary to strengthen the capacities of the RCU and the UMOPs to accelerate the implementation of the 2 projects will also be discussed.
“The mission will also be inspired by the recent in-depth exercise organized by the Regional Integration Department of the World Bank and will monitor the actions related to the two projects.
“The ECOWAS-REAP project (Phase 1), amounting to US$225 million, concerns The Gambia, Guinea Bissau, and Mali. It aims to promote access to electricity for 2.5 million people in these three countries and will enable the electrification of 298 localities in the Gambia, 66 localities in Guinea Bissau, 214 localities in Mali as well as 152,000 new connections in these three countries.
“The project finances the expansion of the medium (MV) and low voltage (LV) networks from the high voltage substations of the Organization for the Development of the Gambia River (OMVG) and the Organization for the Value of the Senegal River (OMVS) to transform their electricity sectors.
“The BEST project (Phase 2), amounting to US$465 million, concerns Côte d’Ivoire, Niger, Mali, Senegal, and Mauritania. It finances the expansion of the MV and LV networks in Niger, Senegal, and Mauritania. “It will also improve the stability of the electricity network by installing energy storage batteries (BESS) in HV substations in Côte d’Ivoire. Ivoire, Mali, and Niger.”
Qualitytvng.com gathered that the support mission’s work was officially launched on Monday, October 10, 2022, with high proffer dignitaries, staff, and Directors of the ECOWAS Commission’s Infrastructure, Energy and Digitalization, Energy and Mines Department among others.