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Fashola: Nigeria’ll be in blackout if we don’t sell power to Benin, Niger
Babatunde Fashola, Minister of Power, Works and Housing, says the Kainji Dam will run dry and the whole nation will be in blackout if the Federal Government stops selling electricity to the Republics of Benin and Niger.
According to a message on the Presidency’s official Twitter handle, Fashola spoke in Abuja at the State House during the 4th Presidential Quarterly Business Forum.
Explaining why Nigeria sells electricity to the two neighbouring countries despite not generating enough to meet domestic demands, he said “Nigeria sells the power in exchange for a guarantee that they won’t dam the rivers that sustain Kainji dam”.
The dam was designed to have a generating capacity of 960 megawatts (1,290,000 hp); however, only eight of its 12 turbines have been installed, reducing the capacity to 760 megawatts (1,020,000 hp).
It generates electricity for all the large cities in Nigeria.
In May 2017, the Federal Government disclosed that the Republics of Benin and Niger paid a total of $159,773,116.61 (N48.84 billion at the official exchange rate of N305.7 to a dollar) as electricity charges to the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET).
It also stated the two countries had a combined balance of $92,315,986.20 (N28.22 billion) to pay to the NBET, adding that the payments were remitted to the power generation companies and service providers in Nigeria.
According to the tweet, Yemi Osinbajo, Acting President, presided over the Forum where Fashola also said work was progressing on eight power projects across the country: 450MW Azura Power Plant, 10MW Katsina Wind Power Plant, 240MW Afam Power Plant, 40MW Kashimbilla Hydro Power Plant, 215 Kaduna Power Plant, 40MW Gurara Power Plant, 29MW Dadin Kowa Hydro Power Plant and 700 MW Zungeru Hydro Power Plant