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“Nigeria’s power regulator, NERC, states that Niger has an outstanding N4 billion debt for electricity supplied.”

Nigeria’s outstanding debt to Niger stands at N4.22bn ($5.48m at an exchange rate of $1 to N769.27) for power supply, as indicated by the first quarter report recently published by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).

The report highlights that Niger’s state power company, Nigerien Electricity Society, has not yet settled the $5.48m invoice issued by the Nigerian market operator for the power supplied.

Among the international customers listed, none have made payments against the combined $16.11m invoice issued to them in the first quarter of 2023.

These customers include Paras-SBEE ($3.46m), Transcorp-SBEE ($3.85 million), Mainstream-NIGELEC ($5.48m), and Odukpani-CEET ($3.32 million).

The Market Operator (MO) issued invoices totaling N842.38m to eight bilateral customers in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI).

However, only North-South/Star Pipe has made a partial payment of N15.38m out of its N24.69m invoice.

In response to the payment irregularities observed among market participants, NERC has directed the Market Operator to enforce provisions within the market rules to address the issue.

Last week, The PUNCH reported the cessation of power supply from Nigeria to Niger starting from August 2. This development came shortly after ECOWAS, led by President Bola Tinubu, imposed sanctions on military personnel in Niger involved in the recent coup against President-elect Mohamed Bazoum.

NIGELEC, Niger’s main electricity supplier, has a contractual arrangement with Nigerian power firm Mainstream Energy for electricity supply.

Additionally, Nigeria exports electricity to neighboring countries Benin and Niger under various Transaction Service Agreements.

In 2022, Nigeria exported approximately N23.13bn worth of electricity to neighboring countries, as reported by The PUNCH in July.

Notably, Niger is heavily reliant on electricity purchases from Nigeria, with 70% of its electricity supply sourced from the Nigerian company Mainstream. This power originates from Kainji Dam in Niger State.

However, Niger is striving to reduce its energy dependence on Nigeria by completing the Kandadji Dam by 2025.

This dam, located 180km upstream from Niamey, is projected to generate 629 gigawatt-hours of electricity annually.

Following the recent coup, major cities in Niger, including Niamey, Maradi, and Zinder, have experienced rolling blackouts.

This situation contrasts with Niger’s typical access to regular and dependable electricity.

Kunle Olubiyo, President of the Nigeria Consumer Protection Network and Coordinator of Power Sector Perspectives, confirmed that ECOWAS intends to disconnect Niger Republic from the electricity supply, given that about 60% of Niger’s power supply originates from Nigeria.

This measure is seen as a strategic response by ECOWAS, with President Tinubu leading the efforts.


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