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Why IBEDC Takes Firm Action On Outstanding Debt Owed By UCH

 Olushola Bello

The Management of Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) Plc, says it was compelled to disconnect the supply to the University of Ibadan College Hospital (UCH) due to an outstanding debt exceeding 400 million Naira.

This drastic measure it stated came after exhaustive attempts to engage with the hospital’s management regarding the substantial overdue balance, which has persisted for over six years.

Johnson Tinuoye, Chief Key Accounts Officer, IBEDC, stated that despite numerous written correspondences and multiple meetings, UCH management has displayed an uncooperative attitude toward addressing the outstanding debt. IBEDC’s fiduciary responsibility to its stakeholders and market operators necessitates timely and complete remittances, especially considering the liquidity crisis facing DISCOs. Unpaid electricity bills hinder DISCOs’ ability to fulfill obligations to GENCOs and purchase gas for power generation, contributing to the nationwide issue of low power supply.

“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. Additionally, 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.”

“While recognizing the crucial role hospitals play in society, IBEDC emphasizes the necessity of adhering to payment obligations, particularly amidst challenging economic conditions. As our regulator, NERC, 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.

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