NERC Says Niger Owes Nigeria N4bn for Power Supply

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The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission stated in the just released first quarter report that Niger currently owes Nigeria a total of N4.22bn ($5.48m: $/N769.27 exchange rate) for power supply.

According to the report, Niger’s state power firm, Nigerien Electricity Society, has not yet paid 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 $16.11m invoice issued to them in 2023/Q1; Paras-SBEE ($3.46m), Transcorp-SBEE ($3.85 million), Mainstream-NIGELEC ($5.48m) 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 provision of the market rules so it can curtail the payment indiscipline by the various market participants. Consequently, the power supply from Nigeria to the Republic of Niger was stopped on August 2.

Last week, ECOWAS, led by President Bola Tinubu, decided to sanction 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 a constant supply of electricity. Nigeria also exports electricity to the Republics of Benin and Niger based on various Transaction Service Agreements.

In July, it was reported that Nigeria exported about N23.13bn worth of electricity to some neighbouring countries in 2022. “Nigeria disconnected since Tuesday (last week) the high voltage line that carries electricity to Niger,” a report by AFP said.

According to a report by NIGELEC, Niger’s sole electricity supplier said 70 per cent of Niger’s share of electricity came from purchases from the Nigerian company – Mainstream in 2022, and the electricity supplied to Niger is produced in Kainji Dam located in Niger State in Nigeria.

However, to free itself from its energy dependence on Nigeria, Niger is working to complete its first dam by 2025. Located about 180km upstream from Niamey, the Kandadji Dam is projected to generate 629 gigawatt-hours of electricity annually.

Another report by the BBC said major cities in Niger are facing serious blackouts following last week’s coup. Residents of Niamey, Maradi and Zinder had power for about an hour at a time before it was cut off for up to five hours. Power cuts like these are unusual in Niger as they would have regular and reliable power supplies prior to this time.

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

“About 60 percent of power supply to Niger comes from Nigeria. Just like organised labour 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 power supply is seen as a low-hanging fruit,” he stated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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