Benin and Niger Republics may be thrown into darkness following the decision of Nigeria to cut off electricity supply to both neighbouring countries due to a N35.4bn debt ($115m).
National Daily gathered that the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET) Company Plc and the Transmission Company of Nigeria (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 make good on 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, which was obtained by our correspondent in Abuja.
The memo added that, “He (the representative) stated 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.
“He also informed the meeting 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