• Monday, July 15, 2024
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Ibadan DisCo disconnects UCH over N400m debt

IBEDC signs MoU with independent power providers to boost power distribution

The management of Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) Plc, has disconnected the power supply to the University of Ibadan College Hospital (UCH) due to an outstanding debt exceeding N400 million Naira, the DisCo said in a release.

According to the release obtained by BusinessDay, this drastic measure comes after exhaustive attempts to engage with the hospital’s management regarding the substantial overdue balance, which has persisted for over six years.

The hospital’s power supply has been disconnected by IBEDC three times between February and March 2024 due to accumulated debt.

“Despite numerous written correspondences and multiple meetings, UCH management has displayed an uncooperative attitude toward addressing the outstanding debt,” the DisCo said in the statement signed by Johnson Tinuoye, chief key accounts officer of IBEDC.

“IBEDC’s fiduciary responsibility to its stakeholders and market operators necessitates timely and complete remittances, especially considering the liquidity crisis facing DisCos.”

The management of the electricity company said that unpaid electricity bills hinder DisCos’ ability to fulfill obligations to electricity generating companies and purchase gas for power generation, contributing to the nationwide issue of low power supply.

The statement read in part: “It’s worth noting that UCH operates more than 70 diesel-generating sets, consuming diesel at 1,600 Naira per liter. This means they generate energy at 400 Naira per kilowatt, significantly higher than the tariff of 74 Naira per kilowatt that IBEDC sells to UCH.

“In addition, IBEDC has provided infrastructure to ensure 20-24 hours of dedicated supply to UCH, yet they have refused to settle their outstanding debt or propose a workable repayment plan.

“It’s pertinent to highlight that UCH is not the only Teaching Hospital within IBEDC’s franchise. Teaching Hospitals in Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Kwara State, and others in Ogun State promptly settle their bills. IBEDC questions why UCH differs in this regard.”

The company emphasizes the necessity of adhering to payment obligations, particularly amidst challenging economic conditions while recognising the crucial role hospitals play in society.

“As our regulator, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission has warned DISCOs of potential license withdrawal for non-performance, IBEDC encourages all customers to pay for electricity consumption promptly to ensure the viability of the sector.

“IBEDC remains committed to excellent service delivery and urges other customers owing the company to make prompt payments, enabling the company to meet its obligations effectively and provide reliable services,” the DisCo added.