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‘You can’t cheat Nigeria’ – TCN asks Togo, Benin to pay $9m electricity bills

The Transmission Company of Nigerian (TCN) has asked its international electricity customers to pay $9 million in exceptional energy bills.

Speaking in Abuja, Usman Mohammed, managing director of TCN, said these countries will not be allowed to deceive Nigeria.

Nigeria supplies electricity to Niger, Togo and the Republic of Benin

Mohammed, who is also president of the West African Power Pool (WAAP), said that international electricity customers have accumulated a bill of over $ 100 million since they took office.

He said the government is supplying electricity to contracted international customers and that those who do not pay will be disconnected.

“It is not because I am the chairman of the West African Power Pool (WAAP) that I will be allowing international customers to cheat Nigeria,” Mohammed said.

“When I took over as MD TCN, both Benin and Togo were owing Nigeria more than $100 million. The debt now remains $7 million.

“Niger is owing less than $2 million. In short, we are not leaving them. We disconnect them as we disconnect customers here in Nigeria. Electricity is not charity. We cannot just allow people to consume electricity and leave us like that.

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“As at now, we have restricted their supply to only their contracted ones. We are insisting they pay all their outstanding bills before we reconnect them and we increase the off-take.”

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) said in its 2019 report that the international customers refused to pay for the energy invoice issued to them.

“During the quarter under review, the special and international customers made no payment to NBET and MO. The invoices issued to Ajaokuta Steel Co. Ltd (designated as special customer) and international customers (i.e., Societe Nigerienne d’electricite – NIGELEC and Communaute Electrique du Benin–CEB) stood at ₦0.32billion and ₦10.85billion respectively,” the report said.