Presidency faults media reports on sale of power to neighbouring countries

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The Presidency on Tuesday described media reports on sale of power to neighbouring countries as hyperbolic and terribly misleading

Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, said the figure quoted in the report was far from accurate, out-dated and not reflective of the current reality,

“It is most disappointing that sensationalism has dominated the thinking and ethos of institutions that citizens look up to with trust, confidence and reliability.

“Monday edition of the Punch checks all the boxes in terms of an abject failure to honour these time-tested traditions with its news piece: “NIGERIA EXPORTS USD81.48bn ELECTRICITY ON CREDIT AS COUNTRY’S BLACKOUT PERSISTS,” is to say the least, hyperbolic and terribly misleading.

“Apart from the fact that the figure quoted is far from accurate, out-dated and therefore not reflective of the current reality, the overall cost of power generated and sold by Nigeria in the period covered by report is not anywhere close to what was mentioned by the paper,” Shehu said.

He further stated that 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).

Shehu added that over 90% of the electricity generated was distributed and consumed by consumers across the 11 electricity distribution companies in the country.

He said power exported to Niger, Benin and Togo based on Multilateral Energy Sales Agreement with the Government of Nigeria was 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,” Shehu added.

He revealed that Niger owed only USD 16 million and Benin, USD 4 million, adding up to the about N1.2bn.

He said 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.”

“In the future, we advise the newspaper to seek clarity from the market operator which is the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN. This process of fact checking only improves your standing in the public arena” he said.

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