The threat was made by the Managing Director of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Usman Mohammed, who explained that prior to his emergence as the MD of TCN, Benin and Togo owed Nigeria more than $100 million.
The demand for international customers who receive electricity from Nigeria to pay their bills or be disconnected has been ongoing for years.
Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) supply the electricity to Togo and Benin. Both countries, including Niger Republic receive 300megawatts electricity supply from Nigeria.
Electricity supply is not charity: Speaking on the debt owed by Togo, Benin and Niger Republic, Mohammed, who also chairs the West African Power Pool (WAPP), said these neighbouring countries will also be disconnected like the homes in Nigeria if they refuse to balance their debt.
According to him, electricity supply isn’t a charity case, so the international customers won’t be allowed to consume electricity for free, “When I took over as MD TCN, both Benin and Togo owed Nigerian more than $100 million.
“They paid part of what they consumed and out of the debts, it is remaining only $14 million for Benin. Niger owes less than $2 million and we are not leaving them.”
He added in an interview with ChannelsTV that, “In fact, we will disconnect them as we disconnect people around here. Electricity is not charity; we cannot allow people to consume electricity and leave us like that, No.” Mohammed said while revealing that supply has been restricted to only contracted ones, so the restriction would be lifted once payment has been made.