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NERC Forbids Landlords From Imposing Outstanding Electricity Bills On New Tenants

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The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission has directed landlords to stop imposing outstanding electricity bills in an apartment on new tenants.
The commission said this in a tweet on Thursday that “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.”
According to the Commissioner, Finance and Management Services, NERC, Nathan Shatti, “a Landlord’s outstanding electricity bills cannot be enforced on a tenant.”
This he said was in agreement with a court ruling that the bill of a previous tenant cannot be enforced on a new customer.
Recall that before this directive, a new tenant while moving into a new house takes on the outstanding electricity bill in the apartment.
This practice has been a source of controversy in the country with distribution companies disconnecting customers who failed to comply
But Shatti asked new tenants who are asked to pay the outstanding bills of their landlords to report the issue to the NERC for appropriate action.
Mr Shatti stressed further that tenants who purchased meters with their own money would be reimbursed through an arrangement the NERC was about to make.
There is a court order in force that has made the violation of the Nigerian capping policy a punishable offence.
The capping policy stipulates that power Distribution Companies, DISCOs, disallowed from charging electricity consumers under the estimated billing system more than they do consumers with prepaid meters in the same vicinity.
“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 commissioner said.
Shatti told DISCOs to refrain from the illegitimate practice of taking money from customers without providing them with meter.
“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.”

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Business

Access Bank Announces N50b Interest-free Loan For Businesses

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Access Bank has announced N50 billion in support of Nigerians through interest-free loans and grants to support communities, the youths as well as micro, small and medium-sized businesses.
The bank posted this on its official LinkedIn page.
It said the move was to support businesses following the crippling COVID-19 lockdown as well as the looting and arson that trailed the #ENDSARS protests.
According to the bank; “Now more than ever, we remain committed to our purpose of impacting lives positively.
” In light of the recent occurrences, we will be supporting Nigerian businesses with N50billion interest-free loans and grants. Watch this space for more information.”
The support by Access Bank is expected to help business owners and entreprenuers alleviate and stimulate economic activities, as well as produce many positive multiplier effects on the economy.
“As a way of supporting SMEs and the working class of the country following the recent damage of properties and livelihoods experienced across the nation, @myaccessbank has rolled out interest free loans of up to N50bn.
“The fund is expected to serve as a kickstart to these affected communities, people and businesses. #AccessCares #All4One,” the bank added.

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PenCom Makes Data Recapture Exercise Condition To Process RSA Transfer Request

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The National Pension Commission said the completion of the Data Recapture Exercise (DRE) is a prerequisite for processing any Retirement Savings Account (RSA) transfer request by RSA holders who registered before 1st of July 2019.
“The National Pension Commission (the Commission) introduced the Data Recapture Exercise (DRE) in August 2019 in order to obtain complete, accurate and current data of all RSA holders (both active and retired), the commission stated.
The statement added that “Accordingly, Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) were directed by the Commission to obtain the relevant information required for the DRE from RSA holders and the process is on going. One of the information required for the exercise is the National Identity Number (NIN).
“The Commission is desirous to ensure that all RSA holders are able to exercise their rights of transferring their RSAs trom one PFA to another, in anticipation of the formal launch of the RSA Transfer System during the last quarter of 2020.
“The Commission therefore wishes to notify all RSA holders that the completion of the DRE is a prerequisite for processing any RSA transfer request by RSA holders who registered before 1 July 2019.”
PenCom explained to fast track the DRE, it approved a proposal of the Pension Operators’ Association of Nigeria (PenOp) for an industry Shared Service Initiative (SSI).
“Consequently, PenOp has engaged agents to conduct the DRE on behalf of all PFAs. This arrangement will enhance efficiency in carrying out the exercise as it would allow an agent to recapture all RSA holders in the same organization on behalf of all PFAs. In partnership with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), the selected agents will have the ability to carry out NIN registrations seamlessly.
“The Commission hereby appeals to all active RSA holders and retirees to cooperate with the agents that would be visiting their organisations to carry out the DRE. Meanwhile, the Commission remains committed to providing necessary support to the pension industry to ensure the success of the DRE,” it noted.

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Senate Confirms Dahir-Umar DG PenCom, Four Board Members

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The Senate confirmed the appointment of Mrs. Aisha Dahir-Umar as the substantive Director General of the National Pension Commission (PenCom) on Tuesday.

President Muhammadu Buhari had penultimate week, sent the name of Dahir -Umar to the Senate, seeking the lawmakers ’ confirmation for her to be the substantive DG and others , to the board of the agency.

The lawmakers also confirmed Dr Oyindasola Oluremi Oni, from North Central as the Chairman of the commission.
Also confirmed were Clement Akintola (South -West); Ayim Nyerere ( South – East) and Charles Emukowhale (South – South), as commissioners of the PenCom board.
However, the Senate refused to confirm the appointment of Hannatu Musa (North -West) because she was unable to present her discharge certificate from the National Youths Service Corps.
Until her confirmation, Dahir-Umar , from the North -East geopolitical zone , held the position in acting capacity .

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