By John Ikani
Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has revealed that the Republic of Benin, Niger Republic and Togo paid nothing for the electricity supplied to them from Nigeria in the second quarter of 2021.
According to a just released Second Quarter Report 2021, NERC stated that the power firms of the three nations and some other special customers were issued a total bill of N770m by the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading company and the Market Operator of the Transmission Company of Nigeria.
It said “during the quarter under review, Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Plc NBET and Market Operators (MO) issued a total of N0.77bn in respect of energy sold by NBET and services rendered by MO to the special (Ajaokuta Steel Co. Ltd and other bilateral customers) and neighbouring countries’ power firms.
While identifying the neighbouring countries’ power firms as Societe Nigerienne d’electricite – NIGELEC, in Niger Republic; Societe Beninoise d’Energie Electrique – SBEE, in Benin Republic; and Compagnie Energie Electrique du Togo– CEET, in Togo Republic, NERC said it hoped that the economy of these customers improves post-COVID-19 lockdown so that they will resume the settlement of their bills in full.
On the performance of distribution companies in Nigeria with respect to the payment of electricity sold to them by the NBET, the power sector regulator stated that the firms did not pay up all their bills.
What you should know
Nigeria, which is extremely underserved with a low electricity per capita ratio, has ironically been selling electricity to Benin Republic, Togo and Niger.
Through its electricity transmission company TCN, Nigeria supplies power to these countries, which are classified as international customers in the Nigerian power sector.
Announcing the commencement of the deal in June 2021, managing director of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and chairman, executive board of the West African Power Pool (WAPP), Sule Abdulaziz said “the power being sold is power that is not needed in Nigeria.”
Mr Abdulaziz said Nigeria will benefit from the deal in terms of revenue and job creation.