Nigeria’s West African neighbours, Benin and Niger Republic, may face total electricity blackout, following a threat by the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET) Company Plc and the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to disconnect them from its supply sources any time from now.
Nigeria has, over the years, been the major providers of electricity to the poor West African countries, following an agreement it had reached with them.
To underscore this, NBET and the TCN have jointly written to the power firms of the Republics of Benin and Niger, demanding the payment of an outstanding $115.91m (about N35.4bn at the official exchange rate of N305 to a dollar for electricity supplied to both countries from Nigeria.
Already, a terse memo from the Nigerian electricity agencies has been sent to NIGELEC of the Republic of Niger and Community Electric du Benin (CEB) of the Republic of Benin, demanding that they pay up their debts or risk being cut off from electricity supply.
Besides, representatives of NBET had informed participants at the recent power sector meeting that a report on international customer payments for electricity had been submitted to the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing.
According to the memo, the outstanding amounts owed by CEB, $101.46m; and NIGELEC, $14.45m was referenced in the minutes of the recent 17th power sector meeting.
The memo added that, NBET and the TCN were planning to attend a meeting at CEB’s headquarters in Lome, Togo, to finalise and execute the power sale agreement currently being negotiated and to prevail on CEB to immediately effect the outstanding payment at the meeting.
Daily Times gathered that NBET and the TCN had agreed on a new sharing formula on the outstanding amounts from CEB and NIGELEC.”
Meanwhile, NBET and the TCN are planning to attend a meeting at CEB’s headquarters in Lome, Togo, to finalise and execute the power sale agreement currently being negotiated and to prevail on CEB to immediately effect the outstanding payment at the meeting.