The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed that only banks that had issued credit facilities to particular electricity distribution companies (DisCos) should henceforth collect tariffs on their behalf.
In a circular to all deposit money banks dated August 21, 2020, CBN said banks providing bank guarantees to Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET) Plc and the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) on behalf of DisCos, would take full responsibility for collections of the concerned DisCos, and remittances of the DisCos to both NBET and TCN.
“For the avoidance of doubt, no DMB is permitted to open or continue to maintain a collection account for a DisCo without the express no-objection of the DMB that guaranteed its exposure to NBET or TCN.
“The payment or settlement of all NESI related goods or services shall be made through the Nigerian Banking System. Consequently, all collections for the payments of NESI regulated goods and services provided by a DisCo shall be paid into a designated account.
It noted that collections arising from services rendered by the DisCo shall be paid into an account in the sole name of the DisCo; collections arising from services rendered by a third party/parties on behalf of the DisCo shall be paid into an account in the joint name of the DisCo and the third party vendor(s); and that all energy and non-energy collections of DisCos, whether cash or cashless, shall only be performed by Deposit Money Banks (DMBs).
CBN warned that no entity shall be permitted to collect revenues for DisCos except if that entity is so authorized by a DMB in line with the relevant CBN Guidelines for Agent Banking and Agent Banking Relationships.
“Any DMB found to be maintaining any account(s) for any entity collecting payments on behalf of any DisCo without appropriate authorization shall have regulatory sanctions imposed on it.”