In response to the military coup in Niger, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), led by Nigerian President Bola Tinubu, has implemented sanctions against the country. As part of these sanctions, Nigeria has halted power supply to the Republic of Niger.
Following the arrest and deposition of President-elect Mohamed Bazoum by officers of the Presidential Guard on July 26, ECOWAS issued a one-week ultimatum to restore constitutional order and imposed sanctions on the military personnel involved in the coup. The sanctions also include the suspension of financial transactions with Niger and the freezing of “all service transactions, including energy transactions.”
Reliable sources in Nigeria’s power sector confirmed the suspension of electricity supply to Niger. The Nigerien Electricity Company, known as Nigelec, is directly affected by this move, in line with ECOWAS’ decisions.
However, industry experts have cautioned the Nigerian government to adopt a diplomatic approach in handling the matter. Nigelec is under contract with a Nigerian power firm called Mainstream Energy for the supply of electricity. Nigeria exports electricity to neighboring countries, including Benin and Niger, based on various Transaction Service Agreements.
Nigeria exported about N23.13bn worth of electricity to its neighboring countries in 2022, with Mainstream-Nigelec being one of the recipients.
An AFP report revealed that Nigeria disconnected the high-voltage line that carries electricity to Niger on Tuesday, affecting the power supply. However, Nigelec confirmed that the capital, Niamey, is still supplied thanks to local production.
Currently, about 70 percent of Niger’s electricity comes from purchases from Mainstream, the Nigerian company.
To reduce its energy dependence on Nigeria, Niger is actively working to complete its first dam, the Kandadji dam, by 2025. Once operational, it is expected to generate 629 gigawatt-hours of electricity annually and help the country achieve greater energy independence.
While efforts were made to seek confirmation from the Transmission Company of Nigeria, the spokesperson, Ndidi Mbah, could not be reached for comment.
Kunle Olubiyo, the President of Nigeria Consumer Protection Network and Coordinator of Power Sector Perspectives, confirmed that ECOWAS aims to isolate Niger from electricity supply, as approximately 60 percent of the country’s power comes from Nigeria. The disconnection of power supply is seen as a measure to enforce the sanctions imposed by ECOWAS.