Thursday, August 3, 2023

Nigeria cuts power to Niger

Nigeria has cut its electricity supply to Niger, AFP learned on Wednesday from a source close to the management of the Nigerien Electricity Company (Nigelec), in line with the sanctions decided by the West African neighbors of Niger destabilized by a coup.

"Nigeria disconnected since yesterday (Tuesday) the high voltage line that carries electricity to Niger," the source said. A Nigelec agent for his part indicated that the capital, Niamey, was "supplied thanks to local production".

On Sunday, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), led by Nigerian President Bola Tinubu, decided on sanctions against the putschists who toppled President-elect Mohamed Bazoum a week ago.

In addition to a one-week ultimatum to restore constitutional order and the suspension of financial transactions with Niger, ECOWAS decreed the freezing of "all service transactions, including energy transactions".

According to a report by Nigelec - the country's sole supplier -, in 2022, 70% of Niger's share of electricity came from purchases from the Nigerian company Mainstream. Electricity is produced by the Kainji dam (western Nigeria).

Many neighborhoods in the city of Niamey are normally subject to power cuts and Nigeria's decision will aggravate this situation.

To free itself from its strong energy dependence on neighboring Nigeria, Niger is working to complete its first dam by 2025, on the river of the same name. Some 180 km upstream from Niamey, the Kandadji dam should generate 629 gigawatt hours (GWh) annually.

Niger, one of the poorest countries in the world, is dependent on its foreign partners in many areas. "The sanctions will hurt our country very badly," Nigerian Prime Minister Ouhoumoudou Mahamadou said on France 24 on Sunday, as sanctions are increasing internationally.


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