Chineme Okafor in Abuja

Nigeria plans to send cheaper electricity to its West African neighbour, Niger Republic, the Minister of Power, Mr. Sale Mamman, has disclosed.

Mamman, stated this at a recent meeting with the Nigerien Minister of Energy, Mrs. Amina Moumouni, who had complained that the current tariff being charged her country was unbearable.

He had also said Nigeria would always assist her neighbours especially Niger Republic, on power and security.

A statement from his office contained the minister’s comments at the meeting with Moumouni.

He explained that he was going to work with the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), through which the country supplies power to the Republic of Niger and other neighbouring countries, to work out modalities and the feasibility of reducing the electricity tariff of Niger Republic.

This, he added will, “alleviate their sufferings.”

According to Mamman, the power sale from Nigeria to Niger Republic was based on bilateral agreement on basis of the construction of dams along River Niger.

He noted that some concessions were given to some countries along River Niger for Nigeria to supply them power, adding that these countries are not allowed to construct dams along the waterways to allow Nigeria’s hydropower plants to continue to function optimally.

“Some of the rivers that sustain our main source of power supply like the Kainji and Jebba dam, flow from these countries.

“So, in exchange for not damming those rivers and preventing them from flowing into the dams, the countries got mandatory supply of electricity from Nigeria,” said Mamman.

Moumouni, according to the statement said they were in Nigeria at the instance of the Nigerien authority to ask Nigeria for a downwards review of the tariff used by Nigeria to sell electricity to her country.

She said: “My present mission in Abuja is based on the exemplary bilateral relations between our two brotherly countries for the supply of electric energy for more than 40 years, following the construction on the Niger River of Kainji and Jebba dams owned by Mainstream Energy Solutions Ltd. (MESL) in Nigeria, where the Nigerien Electricity Company is a shareholder.”

“Regarding the tariff for TCN transportation services, it turns out that the sale price for the supply of electricity is significantly increased, estimated at about 70 per cent. This increase is unbearable for Niger as it stands,” Moumouni explained while appealing to Nigeria to also help her country tackle insecurity mostly occasioned by the nature of its borders.

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