IBEDC reports UCH to NERC over N217m debt
The management of Ibadan Distribution Company has dragged the University College Hospital, Ibadan (UCH), to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) arbitration panel over N217 million accumulated debt.The company at the NERC panel sitting in Ibadan said it decided to involve the commission as a third party because of the huge nature of the debt by the hospital.
The Manager, Business Hub Commercial of IBEDC, Bamidele Falade, told the gathering that in spite of several dialogue and appeal to the hospital, they have ignored paying bills, which have accumulated that much.He explained that owing to the nature of the services they render, and how vital electricity is to their work, it has become rather difficult for the company to disconnect them.
Falade, who noted how the debt is affecting their operation, also revealed that UCH is the only hospital that has refused to pay electricity bills among the hospitals within their franchise areas, “We therefore urge NERC as an independent arbitration to assist in imploring the UCH management to pay, he pleaded.”
While pleading to NERC to instruct UCH management to give a definite timeline for payment, he stated that the hospital enjoys 22 hours of power supply daily and monthly bill of between N20 million and N24 million.Giving his responses from the hospital was the Director of Administration, UCH, Yemi Shiyanbola who admitted to owing the debt but also pleaded with the DisCo to give them ample time to settle the debt.
He attributed the accumulated debt to the low subvention received from the Federal Government as the hospital has only received the sum of N143 million from January to September. More so the government’s promised to take over payment of electricity bills of all Federal hospitals is yet to take effect.
“We are not disputing the debt because it’s accurate, but we are appealing to IBEDC for easy mode of billing, because we are struggling to pay the little we could from our internal generated revenue,” he added.
Shiyanbola, however promised to ensure 100 per cent payment of monthly bills going forward while the outstanding is spread for easy payment and also agreed to revert back to the panel on payment modalities.
Meanwhile the chairman of the NERC arbitration panel, Yinka Oseni who described the debt as huge acknowledged UCH for admitting to the debt because it shows there is no dispute.
Oseni urged the UCH management to report back to the panel within a month on its debt payment schedule and also advised them to comply with the agreement reached on payment mode to avoid confrontation.
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