…Puts total Debt at $69, not $81.48
The Presidency has come out with explanations on the reason why Nigeria entered into bilateral agreements to exports electricity to Niger, Benin, and Togo while blackout persists in Nigeria.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garbu Shehu in a statement on Tuesday said that the exports power to neighbouring countries in respect of multilateral agreement was to prevent its neghbouring countries from building dams on the River Niger.
Reacting to the reports that Nigeria exports US81.48 billion electricity on credit amid the persistent blackout in Nigeria, Shehu clarified that as at 2019, the debt owed by the neighbouring countries totalled $69m.
According to the President’s spokesperson, the total indebtedness of Niger to Nigeria is currently USD 16 million, while Benin owes USD four million, adding that the actual cost of electricity generated within 2018-2019 by all the electricity generation companies in Nigeria was about N1.2 trillion ($4 billion).
He said: “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 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.”
By Peace Obi