Countries in the West Africa subregion have been advised to take advantage of the huge energy potentials available in the area in order to fully attain industrialization.
The Speaker of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament gave this advice during the ongoing Delocalized Meeting of ECOWAS Parliament Joint Committees on Energy, Mines, Industry, Private Sector and Environment, holding in Abidjan, Cote D’voire
He said West Africa sits on top of 17 billion tons of proven oil reserves, insisting that this should not be made to mean nothing.
He added that the region is also blessed with 5.2 billion metric tons of proven natural gas reserves, which is about 30 percent of the reserves of Africa, with 25,000 megawatts of hydraulic power potential in five countries including Nigeria.
He however lamented that despite all this enviable potential, only 52 percent of people living in West Africa have access to power.
Tunis lamented that “the energy sector in the region is beset by a myriad of challenges including poor governance and weak capacity for planning and implementation. Another challenge is the uneven distribution of the energy resources of the region. Nigeria alone sits on top of more than 90 percent of oil resources here.”
He however said it has not been all gloom and doom for the region, as it has come up with a plan for regional power generation and transmission between 2019-2033.
He noted that the road map for this energy mix is already being implemented, It is a project which will cost over $36 billion.
He explained that it will have 28 transmission projects covering over 22 thousand kilometres. Under the plan, 47 power projects will be built with a total capacity of over fifteen giga watts at an estimated cost of over $25 billion.