The Nigerian government has cut off power supply to Niger Republic as sanctions against the neighbouring country by the ECOWAS.
This is coming few days after Mohamed Bazoum, the elected president of Niger, was deposed by a military coup.
ECOWAS, led by Nigerian President Bola Tinubu, on Sunday decided on sanctions against the military personnel in Niger.
In addition to a one-week ultimatum to restore constitutional order and the suspension of financial transactions with Niger, ECOWAS decreed the freezing of “all service transactions, including energy transactions.
Nigeria export electricity to Transcorp-SBEE and Mainstream-NIGELEC.
SBEE is Société Beninoise d’Énergie Electrique, a Benin Republic power firm, while NIGELEC, which is Société Nigérienne d’Electricité or Nigerien Electricity Society, is a power utility firm in Niger Republic.
AFP also confirmed on Wednesday that Nigeria had cut its electricity supply to Niger.
“Nigeria disconnected since yesterday (Tuesday) the high voltage line that carries electricity to Niger,” AFP quoted its source.
BBC also reported that the cities of Maradi, Zinder and Niamey had power for about an hour before it was switched off for up to five hours.
Niger Republic, which normally have reliable and regular power supply has been thrown into darkness.
70 percent of Niger’s share of electricity came from purchases from the Nigerian company – Mainstream. Electricity is produced by the Kainji Dam located in Nigeria.
Also, the President, of Nigeria Consumer Protection Network, and Coordinator, of Power Sector Perspectives, Kunle Olubiyo, confirmed the development.
“About 60 per cent of power supply to Niger comes from Nigeria. Just like organised labour usually shuts down the national power grid as part of negotiations when all appeals might have failed to achieve results, Mr President (Tinubu) is the leader of ECOWAS at the moment.
“Disconnection of power supply is seen as a low-hanging fruit.”
Niger’s coup leader has declared that he will not bow down to pressure to reinstate deposed President Mohamed Bazoum.
General Abdourahamane Tchiani spoke on Wednesday after Nigeria cut off electricity supply, Tchiani urged his countrymen to get ready to defend their nation.
The self-declared leader said the military “rejects these sanctions altogether and refuses to give in to any threats, wherever they come from. We refuse any interference in the internal affairs of Niger.
“We, therefore, call on the people of Niger as a whole and their unity to defeat all those who want to inflict unspeakable suffering on our hard-working populations and destabilise our country.”