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HomeBusinessNiger's unsettled $5.48 mln bill led to electricity disconnection, says NERC report

Niger’s unsettled $5.48 mln bill led to electricity disconnection, says NERC report

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The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has unveiled its first-quarter report, shedding light on the Niger Republic’s outstanding debt of N4.22 billion to Nigeria for electricity supply.

According to the report, the state power company of Niger, Nigerien Electricity Society, has yet to remit the $5.48 million invoice issued by the Nigerian market operator.

The report outlined specific underpaid international customers, stating, “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).”

Highlighting the extent of the payment issue, the report noted, “Out of N842.38 million invoice issued by MO to all the eight (8) bilateral customers in the NESI, only North-South/Star Pipe made a remittance of N15.38 million against its invoice of N24.69 million.”

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In response to the ongoing payment concerns, NERC mandated the Market Operator to invoke provisions within market rules to address the payment indiscipline demonstrated by various market participants. Notably, power supply from Nigeria to Niger Republic was halted on August 2.

The recent power supply disruption coincides with ECOWAS-led sanctions against military personnel in Niger involved in the coup d’état that toppled President-elect Mohamed Bazoum. Niger’s electricity supply largely depends on purchases from Nigerian companies such as Mainstream Energy.

Nigeria also exports electricity to the Republics of Benin and Niger based on various Transaction Service Agreements. However, Niger is actively pursuing energy independence through the completion of its first dam, the Kandadji Dam, projected to generate 629 gigawatt-hours of electricity annually by 2025.

In a separate development, major cities in Niger are grappling with rolling blackouts following the recent coup. Residents of Niamey, Maradi, and Zinder have experienced intermittent power cuts, an unusual occurrence in a country that typically enjoys regular and reliable power supplies.

As part of ECOWAS efforts, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is expected to isolate Niger Republic from the electricity supply. Approximately 60 percent of Niger’s power supply is sourced from Nigeria, making the disconnection of power supply a significant decision in response to the unpaid debts.

(Edited by Oludare Mayowa; omayowa@globalfinancialdigest.com; Newsroom: +234 8033 964 138)

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