Niger gets most of its electricty from neighbouring Nigeria. Photo: AA

Niger is hit by unusual blackouts with residents of the capital Niamey saying they rarely get electricity for an hour or two a day in recent days.

This comes amid political crisis in the country following last week's military coup that toppled President Mohamed Bazoum.

There has been no official explanation on the blackouts affecting households and businesses.

President Bazoum's PNDS party has accused the military junta of disconnecting electricity at his residence. The deposed president is still being detained by soldiers behind the coup.


The blackouts is widespread. There has been speculation that the poor electricity supply is linked to a series of sanctions imposed by the West African regional bloc, ECOWAS against the country in response to the military takeover.

Niger depends on Nigeria for 70% of its power, buying it from the Nigerian company Mainstream, according to Nigelec, the country's monopoly supplier.

Nigeria is heading the regional bloc and also spearheading efforts to reinstate President Bazoum.

Some say Nigeria is cutting power supply as a way of implementing the ECOWAS economic sanctions imposed on the junta.

"Nigeria has disconnected the high-voltage line transporting electricity to Niger," a source at Niger's power company Nigelec told AFP news agency.

Niger's drive

However, there have been no comments from either ECOWAS or the Nigerian authorities on the power cuts in Niger. The electricity is generated by the Kainji Dam in central Nigeria.

Niger's capital Niamey has a local production source, but many districts suffered from frequent power cuts even before the coup.

Niger, a country of about 26 million people, is hoping to achieve energy independence by building the Kandadji Dam on the Niger River, about 180 kilometres (110 miles) upstream from Niamey.

It is scheduled for completion in 2025, with a targeted annual capacity of 629 gigawatt-hours (GWh).

Niger is one of the poorest countries in the world, frequently ranking at the bottom of the UN's Human Development Index, a benchmark of prosperity.

"The sanctions will hurt ou r country very much," Prime Minister Ouhoumoudou Mahamadou said on Sunday on the French TV channel France24.

TRT Afrika and agencies