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Thursday, November 30, 2023

Niger owes Nigeria N4bn for electricity supply – NERC

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Niger currently owes Nigeria N4.22bn ($5.48m: $/N769.27 exchange rate) for power supply; the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission’s just released first quarter report has stated.

According to the report, Niger’s state power firm, Nigerien Electricity Society, was yet to remit the $5.48m invoice issued for power supply by the Nigerian market operator.

“None of the underlisted international customers made any payment against the cumulative $16.11 million invoice issued to them in 2023/Q1: Paras-SBEE ($3.46 million), Transcorp-SBEE ($3.85 million), Mainstream-NIGELEC ($5.48 million), and Odukpani-CEET ($3.32 million).

“Out of the N842.38m invoice issued by MO to all the eight (8) bilateral customers in the NESI, only North-South/Star Pipe made a remittance of N15.38m against its invoice of N24.69m,” it stated.

The NERC mandated the Market Operator to invoke the provisions of the market rules to curtail the payment indiscipline being exhibited by the various market participants.

It was reported that the power supply from Nigeria to the Republic of Niger was stopped on August 2.

Last week, ECOWAS, led by President Bola Tinubu, decided on sanctions against the military personnel in Niger who toppled President-elect Mohamed Bazoum in a coup d’état.

NIGELEC is under contract with a power firm in Nigeria, Mainstream Energy, for the supply of electricity.

Nigeria also exports electricity to the Republics of Benin and Niger based on various Transaction Service Agreements.

“Nigeria disconnected since Tuesday (last week) the high voltage line that carries electricity to Niger,” a report by AFP said, quoting industry sources through local production.

According to a report by NIGELEC, Niger’s sole electricity supplier, in 2022, 70 percent of Niger’s share of electricity came from purchases from the Nigerian company Mainstream.

Electricity supplied to Niger is produced at Kainji Dam, located in Niger State.

However, to free itself from its energy dependence on Nigeria, Niger is working to complete its first dam by 2025.

Located about 180 kilometers upstream from Niamey, the Kandadji Dam is projected to generate 629 gigawatt-hours of electricity annually.

A separate report by the BBC also said major cities in Niger are facing rolling blackouts following last week’s coup.

Residents of Niamey, Maradi, and Zinder had power for about an hour at a time before it was switched off for up to five hours. Power cuts like these are unusual in Niger, which normally has regular and reliable supplies.

The President of the Nigeria Consumer Protection Network and Coordinator of Power Sector Perspectives, Kunle Olubiyo, confirmed that ECOWAS would isolate the Niger Republic from the electricity supply.

“About 60 percent of the power supply to Niger comes from Nigeria. Just like organized labor usually shuts down the national power grid as part of negotiations when all appeals might have failed to achieve results, Mr. President (Tinubu) is the leader of ECOWAS at the moment.

“Disconnection of the power supply is seen as low-hanging fruit,” he stated.

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