24 October 2007 – The West African Power Pool (WAPP) interconnection will cost approximately $16 billion said WAPP’s secretary general, Amadu Diallo on Tuesday.

The project, which consists of transmission and generation subsectors, will be completed in phases, including all members of the WAPP: Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Gambia and Cote d’Ivoire.

Speaking in Abuja, Mr Diallo said "We are not only playing politics, but we are coming with concrete proposal towards the achievement of the projects for the benefit of our people"

Phase one, called ‘North Core’ has already commenced and will connect Nigeria-Benin-Niger-Burkina Faso.

Project financing will be provided by the World Bank, African Development Bank and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Additional financing will be provided by beneficiary countries, donor agencies and development institutions.

The WAPP has the twin advantage of serving to import electricity resources and exporting excess supply where it is needed. According to Mr Diallo, electricity is no longer one nation’s product but can be traded for revenue.

Addressing rumours that Nigeria was the only country taking care of projects, Mr Diallo said that other countries were contributing their own quota, although these were not as big as Nigeria’s.

The head of technical services for the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, Mr John Ayodele, said Nigeria was involved in the WAPP due to the advantages it provided.

"If we don’t take advantage of the project, other countries will do and we are at the losing end".

Delays have occurred due to funding issues, but as soon as these were finalised, the project would commence, Ayodele concluded.