Nigeria’s federal government has reached a deal with Chad to supply electricity to its north eastern neighbor, sources have confirmed.

The agreement was finalized after a recent meeting between the Nigerian negotiating team composed of officials from the Transmission Company of Nigeria and Chad’s Minister of Energy Ramatou Houtouin.

Despite being a major oil producer, Chad suffers from perennial power cuts, and a meagre 15% of its populace is connected to the national grid.

Decades of conflict have pushed the country into poverty, and authoritarian rule by long-time President Idriss Deby hasn’t helped.

Chadian ambassador to Nigeria, Abakar Chachaimi, made the initial request for his country to be connected to Nigeria’s electricity grid during a visit to the Minister of Power Sale Mamman in the capital Abuja earlier this year.

Chachaimi argued that connecting Chad to Nigeria’s electricity grid would further enhance the historical and economic collaborations between both countries.

With the agreement, Chad joins a host of other West African countries that have been connected to Nigeria’s national grid. Benin, Togo and Niger Republic get at least 80% of their power needs from Africa’s most populous state.

One of the reasons is that much of Nigeria’s generated electricity remain unused because the country is not able to distribute it as a result of poor transmission and distribution network, which has therefore prompted it to sell to neighboring countries.

Nigeria also spearheads the West African Power Pool (WAPP), which is a cooperation of the national electricity companies in Western Africa under the auspices of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). WAPP says it’s working to establish a reliable power grid for the region and a common market for electricity.

Member countries of WAPP, now headed by Mr Sule Abdulazeez, current Managing Director of the TCN are: Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, The Gambia, Togo, Senegal, and Sierra Leone.

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