The management of Ibadan Distribution Company has dragged the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) arbitration panel over N217 million indebtedness.
Manager, Business Hub Commercial of IBEDC, Bamidele Falade told the NERC panel sitting in Ibadan that the management decided to involve third party intervention because of the huge debts UCH is owing the distribution company.
Falade made it known that the company had appealed to the management of UCH on why they should pay their outstanding debt of N217 million but to no avail.
According to the IBEDC Commercial Manager, they are constrained in disconnecting their electricity due to the services they render but they have ignored paying bills despite several dialogue and appeal. In his words, “The huge outstanding debt is affecting our operations. UCH is the only hospital that has refused to pay the electricity debt among the hospitals within our franchise areas. We urge NERC as an independent arbitration to assist in imploring the UCH management to pay.”
Falade said that the hospital which monthly bill was between N20 million and N24 million enjoys 22-hours constant power supply daily. ”If we have the money they owe us, we will be comfortable. It will strengthen our operations. We appeal to the commission panel to instruct the UCH management to give definite timeline for the payment of the debt.
The IBEDC boss was of the view that the distribution company has increased effective power distributions to UCH yet, it refused to pay. Long-standing debts are the biggest worry of the electricity distribution company. The company is grappling with too many issues and UCH debt is a burden too big for the Disco to bear.
Reacting to the issue, Yemi Shiyanbola, Director of Administration, UCH admitted owing the debt but appealed to the Disco to give them ample time to settle the bills.
Shiyanbola said that the management was constrained due to the low subvention received from Federal Government. He added that the government had promised to take over payment of electricity bills of all federal hospitals, but this has not taken effect.