TCN confirms cutting off power supply to Niger – Report

The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has confirmed cutting off electricity supply to Niger Republic as a direct consequence of its recent coup plot which saw the ousting of the country’s president by the Military.

Channels Television reports that TCN confirmed the news through one of its officials in Kano state.

On Wednesday, August 2, the BBC reported that major cities in Niger Republic were facing rolling blackouts because of the power supply cut from Nigeria. This was according to the Nigerien electricity company, Nigelec.

According to Channels Television, the electricity supply from Nigeria to Niger came directly from the national grid and the cut will not impact any part of the country.

Why Nigeria supplies electricity to Niger and others 

In 2022, there were reports on the reasons why Nigeria supplies electricity to Niger Republic and other African countries – Togo, and Benin Republic.

According to the Guardian, Managing Director of TCN, Sule Abdulaziz, while addressing attendees at the Nigerian Power Consumers Forum said that Nigeria, through TCN, had been exporting electricity to Niger, Benin and Togo under a country-to-country arrangement.

According to him, electricity supply to the regional market enables the federal government to earn more foreign exchange for national development.

He also stated that the regional market would enable generation companies (GenCos) to export power to more West African countries, which will be evacuated by TCN transmission infrastructure.

In 2021, it was reported that Nigeria sells electricity to neighbouring countries for strategic purposes. According to NBET Managing Director Nnaemeka Ewelukwa, who appeared before the Federal House of Representatives in November 2021, Nigeria sells 6% of the electricity it generates to neighbouring countries because of the issues of dams.

He said: “At the heart of the transactions is the issue of the damming of the river. We have dammed the river and if we do not provide electricity to countries that are upstream on the river, they can also build their dams which will create a major crisis for the country.”

“So, there is a strategic reason. If they can dam the river upstream, we are in trouble.”

What you should know

In its Q1/2023 Electricity Report, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) stated that Nigelec, the parastatal responsible for electric power generation and transmission in the Republic of Niger, was sent an invoice of $5.48 million for the first quarter of 2023, as an international electricity customer, but the utility did not make any payment.