The French Development Agency (AFD) and Nigeria have signed a grant of 25 million euros to boost electricity in the Northwestern part of the country.
The grant agreement for the Northern Corridor Project (NCP) was signed on Wednesday in Abuja.
The NCP which is being implemented by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) is jointly funded by the European Union (EU) and AFD.
The project is to strengthen low-carbon economic growth in West Africa by improving the quality of electricity networks in Nigeria support the development of a regional electricity market under the West African Power Pool.
Speaking at the agreement signing session, Clement Agba, minister of state for budget and national planning, said the project was in tandem with the objectives of the National Development Plan (2021-2025).
He said signing the agreement was a sign that the country is on track in the implementation of the development plan.
“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 sub-stations.
“Power is very essential and what we are signing today demonstrates this. ‘’he said.
On his part, the managing director of TCN, Mr Sule Abdulaziz, thanked the governments of France and the EU for their support to Nigeria.
According to him, the Northern Corridor Project was critical to TCN as it will greatly improve grid stability and the company’s expansion plan.
He assured all parties that the project would be successful.
“Our appreciation also goes to the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Power for facilitating this grant from the government of France and EU, ‘’he said.
Responding, Emmanuelle Blatmann, France’s Ambassador to Nigeria, said France was happy to support the project, saying it indicated the strong partnership between Nigeria, France and the EU.
Blatmann, who said that she was proud of what AFD had been, doing, said with this project, which was an interconnected grid from Kebbi State to the Republic of Niger adding that this 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 to 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, Head of Cooperation, Cecile Tassin-Pelzer 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.
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