The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission has clarified that the outstanding electricity bills of landlords are not to be enforced on new tenants.
The NERC Commissioner, Finance and Management Services, Nathan Shatti, made this known during a live programme on “meters and metering” on Tuesday.
During the programme, which was streamed live by on NERC social media platforms, Shatti explained that there is an existing court judgment barring the imposition of landlords’ outstanding bills on new tenants.
The Punch gathered that many new tenants were asked to pay the outstanding bills of their landlords in the country, with Distribution Companies disconnecting customers who failed to comply.
But Shatti told new tenants who are asked to pay the outstanding bills of their landlords to contact the NERC.
He also explained that “new tenants who spend their money to procure meters will be refunded through a mechanism that the NERC will come up with”.
The commissioner added that there is also a court order criminalising actions contrary to capping policy in the country.
Capping means that Distribution Companies cannot charge unmetered customers more than they charge metered customers in any neighbourhood.
He said, “Landlord’s outstanding electricity bills cannot be enforced on a tenant. A judge recently ruled that the bills of a previous tenant cannot be enforced on a new customer. Send us details if you are in such a situation.
“An order was issued on capping in February. The capping order is still in force.
DisCos should take note. The Commission is doing everything to enforce compliance. We will do even more.”
The NERC official also warned DISCOs against collecting money for meters without supplying them.
“If you have paid for a meter and you have not received it, please note that it is wrong. It is unacceptable behaviour.
“The intention of the regulation is that payment should not be made if meters are not available. Where you have, write to the Commission with your details,” he added.