Following a media report, which claimed that Nigeria exported $81.48 billion worth of electricity on credit to Niger Republic, Togo and Benin Republics amid power shortages in the country, the Presidency on Tuesday said that power is sold to neighbouring countries to prevent them from damming River Niger that feeds the nation’s dam.
A statement issued by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity) in Abuja also said that only N1.2 trillion ($4 billion) worth of electricity was produced between 2018-2019, the timeframe referenced in the contested report.
The statement maintained that power exported to the three neighbouring countries is based on Multilateral Energy Sales Agreement with Nigeria so that they will not dam the waters that feed the three major power plants in Kainji, Shiroro and Jebba.
The statement expressed disappointment that “sensationalism has dominated the thinking and ethos of institutions that citizens look up to with trust, confidence and reliability.”
While noting that the report (not by the Tribune Online “is, to say the least, hyperbolic and terribly misleading,” the statement added:
“Apart from the fact that the figure quoted is far from accurate, out-dated and therefore not reflective of the current reality, the overall cost of power generated and sold by Nigeria in the period covered by the report is not anywhere close to what was mentioned by the paper.
“The actual cost of electricity generated within the said timeframe (2018-2019) by all the electricity generation companies in Nigeria was about N1.2 trillion ($4 billion).
“Over 90% of the electricity generated was distributed and consumed by consumers across the 11 electricity distribution companies in the country.
“Power exported to Niger, Benin and Togo based on Multilateral Energy Sales Agreement with the Government of Nigeria is on the basis that they would not dam the waters that feed our major power plants in Kainji, Shiroro and Jebba.
“As of the last review in 2019, the amount of indebtedness to all three customers stood at $69 million, subsequent upon which several payments were made to NBET. Much of this has been repaid by the debtor nations.
“As of today, Niger owes the only USD 16 million and Benin, USD 4 million, adding up to the Naira equivalent of about N1.2bn.
“The essence of said bilateral agreements, by which we give them power and they do not build dams on the River Niger means that Nigeria and her brotherly neighbours had avoided the unfolding situation of the Nile River between the sovereign states of Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt.
“In the future, we advise the newspaper to seek clarity from the market operator which is the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN. This process of fact-checking only improves your standing in the public arena.”