Nigeria plunges Niger into darkness

Nigeria plunges Niger into darkness

Wednesday, April 6, 2016 7:38 am

Nigeria’s fuel shortages have caused power cuts across the border in Niger, according to a statement released by the state electric company, NIGELEC, affecting seven of Niger’s eight regions for the past 72 hours.

Landlocked Niger became an oil producer in 2011 but still imports about 70 percent of its power needs from larger neighbour Nigeria.

But a slump in oil prices has made it impossible for Nigeria to purchase items like fuel, which it must purchase despite pumping 1.8 million barrels per day because its outdated refineries are often out of order.

“This situation has caused (NIGELEC’s) principal provider to limit to a third its normal imports, which is at the base of the current disturbances observed on networks lately,” the statement read.

“NIGELEC has found itself therefore with the obligation to proceed with rolling blackouts.”

Less than 15 percent of the population of Niger, considered to be one of the world’s least developed countries, has access to electricity, according to the World Bank.

Niger’s uranium-mining region Agadez, which has an independent power plant, has not been affected by the power cuts.


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