Despite Epileptic Power Supply, Nigeria Exports Electricity to Niger, Benin Republic

Despite the widespread power outages witnessed in most communities, data shows that Nigeria exported about N23.13 billion worth of electricity to some neighbouring countries in 2022.

Latest data on the remittances by international customers obtained from the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) showed that Nigeria continued its export of electricity to the Republics of Benin and Niger, as well as some special categories of consumers.

Politics Nigeria observed that the total value of exported electricity from Nigeria in 2022 was $50.98 million  (N23.5 billon, at the official exchange rate of N461/$ of 2022).

However, the international customers remitted $32.69 million, an equivalent of N15.1 billion.

This implies that they failed to remit a total of $18.29 million or N8.4 billon during the period, while the special customers also did not remit N792.6 million in the same period, according to figures obtained from NERC.

Although some officials at NERC and other agencies in the power sector provided explanations as to why Nigeria was exporting power despite its poor supply in-country, electricity consumers kicked against the move.

“A World Bank report puts the total number of Nigerians that are not connected to the national electricity grid at about 90 million, out of about 220 million Nigerians. This is about the highest in the world,” said Uket Obinna, National Secretary, Nigeria Electricity Consumer Advocacy Network.

“China, with a population of 1.4 or 1.5 billion people, has about 68 million Chinese persons who are not connected to electricity. Now, compare that to the 90 million people in Nigeria that are not electrified.

“But despite that, you are now exporting such a scarce commodity that your people desperately need. What kind of economic sense is that? When you hear such things you wonder whether it is on planet Earth that it is happening. The people behind that idea, what are they thinking?”, he queried.

A source at NERC who pleaded anonymity explained that the export of electricity from Nigeria to neighbouring countries was based on past agreements.

“There are certain conditions that led to the export of electricity to these countries and it is an obligation that Nigeria has to fulfill. This has been explained by senior government officials before,” the source said.

The managing director, TCN, Sule Abdulaziz, gave the explanation for electricity export and also confirmed that: “Nigeria, through TCN, had been exporting electricity to Niger, Benin and Togo under a country-to-country arrangement.”

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