By Abba Hamish Sani
Africa-Press – Nigeria. As part of sanctions on the Military Junta of Niger Republic Nigeria has stopped supplying Niger with electricity, the situation that created so much havoc on the citizens of the landlocked country that 70 percent of its electricity supply comes from Nigeria.
Nigeria provides 150 megawatts of electricity to the neighboring Niger on a daily basis . The disconnection exercise was affected by the transmission Company of Nigeria TCN .
This decision affected different critical sectors of Niger’s economy , health ,education and the general well being of Niger Republic citizens.
Some commentators described the action taken by the Nigerian government as very unfortunate and too harsh as the Niger junta will feel less effect of the move compared to the common citizens of the poor west African country which heavenly defend on foreign aid.
Political activists like Senator Shehu Sani who is a former senator that represent Kaduna Central Senatorial District in the eight Assembly from 2015 to 2019 and Dr. Saidu Ahmad Dukawa a Political Scientist and renown public commentator described the action as anti human and advised ECOWAS under Nigerian President Tunibu’s leadership to reconsider it’s position.
A Source of Nigerian Electricity passes through Niger Republic
One of the major sources of Nigerian Electricity is hydroelectric power generated through River Niger. River Niger is the principal river of western Africa, extending over 2500 miles (about 4000 km). It runs in a crescent through Guinea, Mali, Niger, on the border with Benin and then through Nigeria, discharging through a massive delta, known as the Oil Rivers, into the Gulf of Guinea.
The Niger Republic can decide to halt the electricity generation by blocking the flow of the river which will also affect other ECOWAS members like the Republic of Benin,and Togo that depend on Nigeria for electricity supply.
Nigeriens decried the situation as they depend on power generators and solar systems
According to some reports businesses in Niger Republic towns like Maradi and Damagaram depended on power generators and solar for their daily affairs and domestic use. The situation makes it very difficult for the majority of small enterprises and cottage businesses as the major backbone of the country’s economy to operate.
While in the capital City of the country Niamey has a local production source which is still not enough for the city dwellers but many districts suffered from frequent power cuts even before the coup.
Another dimensional effect of this decision of ECOWAS and Nigeria is that ,it create more unemployment among the citizen of this poor nation and there is probability that citizens of Niger will look for alternative source of living through other means which may unfortunately include illegal ones and the effect will affect the other countries that share border with the landlocked Country.
Mahdi Shehu is a Political and public affairs analyst. He said the ECOWAS action of putting unrealistic sanctions against the Niger Republic is a selective judgment against the Uranium-rich nation with high levels of poverty.
There are other West African Countries that are under Military leadership but the sanctions were not put on them.
The activist warned President Tinubu against allowing himself to be used by Western Countries like France.
Mahdi said even though Bola Tinubu is known to be an ally of France as he made it his second home as former President Buhari made England during his tenure as President.
The political activist stated this while featuring in an interview with Arise news TV recently.
The analyst says even Nigerians conducting businesses in the neighboring Niger are affected by the electricity cut.
However this statement made by Mahdi Shehu can be confirmed by whoever visits Niger Republic in recent years as many Nigerian investors including Youth are operating different skilled work like Fashion design, welder work and construction across Niger.
So in this aspect it means Niger’s economic stability under whatever kind of political system means more jobs for Nigerians that provide Niger with different goods and services.
Another dimension of the action is that Nigeria is losing a source of its foreign earning as the electricity supplied to the Niger Republic is no for charity but a business affair amounting to millions of Dollars.
Such loss is a miscalculation by the leadership of Nigeria at this point that the country needs an additional source of income to salvage the ailing economy and create additional jobs for the unemployed citizens.
Retracting the decision is the best for the two Countries
Reversing the situation and applying for diplomatic ways will be quite better .As no one would like to encourage military Junta in any part of West Africa and Africa in general.
Mahdi Shehu said such measures can only add additional hardship on the citizens. He added that the most effective means to stop a coup in African Countries is by providing good leadership by the continent leaders.
He also said Africans perceived coup as a means of changing government which should be avoided through quality democratic leadership in the region.