From Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commissioner for Transport, Energy, Mining, Water Resources, Telecommunications, and Postal Services, Sediko Douka, has disclosed that member states will soon commence the exchanges, purchases and sales of electricity to make tariffs more competitive in the sub-region.

Sediko also said the development would ensure coverage of demand in the sub-region, which currently stands at only 60 per cent. Briefing journalists in Abuja, Sediko said a total of 14 countries, out of the 15 ECOWAS member states were interconnected, except Cabo Verde.

Sediko said: “To date, 14 out of the 15 member states are interconnected. In fact, all 14 mainland countries of ECOWAS are interconnected. Only the 15th country, Cabo Verde, remains unconnected, which will soon be rectified through the implementation of a high-voltage submarine cable, with feasibility studies due to start shortly.

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“Consequently, starting from 2024, electricity exchanges (both purchases and sales) will be possible, making tariffs more competitive and ensuring coverage of demand, which currently stands at only 60 percent. What’s interesting here is that all you need is enough independent energy producers to cover demand,” Sediko said.

In the area of renewable energy development, Sediko said several projects were underway with the objective of increasing energy capacity and access to electricity, particularly for rural populations.

“Since 2018, the efforts of the ECREEE Center have led to the installation of an additional total capacity of 768 MW of renewable energies in the region,” he said.