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No Landlord Can Enforce Payment Of Outstanding Bill On New Tenant – NERC

Emmanuel Egobiambu  
Updated September 16, 2020
A file photo of a transformer.

 

 

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has explained that landlords cannot mandate new tenants to pay outstanding power bills. 

“Any bill that is outstanding; that belongs to a landlord, should be paid by the landlord, not by the new customer,” NERC Commissioner, Finance and Management Services, Nathan Shatti explained during a Facebook live chat on Wednesday, saying such development is unacceptable.

“I don’t know whether you heard recently a case that a judge has ruled that you cannot transfer a bill of a landlord or a previous customer to the current one.”

READ ALSO: Fuel, Electricity Hike: Protesters Urge Lawmakers To Intervene

The NERC Commissioner called on Nigerians who experience such issue to report to the organization, assuring that it “would be able to take it up with the DISCO.”

According to him, “Even though the DISCO may want to say the money should be paid; they should have collected their money from the landlord.”

Electricity tariff was recently reviewed in the country, raising dust among Nigerians.

– Painful Adjustment –

But the Federal Government is saying the increment is in the best interest of the Nigerians, describing the move as a painful adjustment.

“If there is one thing that we have heard over and over again, it is that Nigerians want consistent and reliable power supply,” President Muhammadu Buhari who rose to power on a three-pronged agenda of fighting corruption, tackling insecurity and revamping the economy, said recently in Abuja at the first-year Ministerial Performance Review Retreat.

“So, the power sector remains a critical priority for the administration.”

– Ill-Timed Policy –

Despite the Buhari administration assuring Nigerians of a soft landing, the organised labour has issued a two-week ultimatum to the government to reverse the recent increases in fuel and electricity tariff.

“NLC central committee will also mobilise its members, civic society allies, and other social partners to resist this policy because it has driven many into poverty,” Ayuba Wabba who heads the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), said on Wednesday in Abuja.

The labour leader lamented that the Nigerian government increased fuel and electricity tariff at a time “other countries across the world are giving palliatives to their citizens to cushion the effect of COVID-19.”