Nigeria entered into electricity power export agreements with Niger, Benin and Togo to discourage them from building dams on the path of the River Niger, the presidency has explained.
It also disclosed that the total indebtedness of Niger to Nigeria is $16 million, while Benin owes $4 million, adding that the actual cost of electricity generated within 2018-2019 by all generation companies in Nigeria was about N1.2 trillion ($4 billion).
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, also described as misleading a news report alleging that the trio owed $81.48 billion for power supply while most parts of Nigeria are in darkness.
Describing the report as hyperbolic and terribly misleading, the presidency said apart from the fact that the figure quoted was far from accurate, out-dated and not reflective of the current reality, the overall cost of power generated and sold by Nigeria in the period covered by the report was not anywhere close to what was mentioned by the newspaper.
“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 $16 million and Benin $4 million, adding up to the naira equivalent of about N1.2 billion.
“The essence of the 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,” said the statement.