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University College Hospital, UCH, Ibadan, says it did not owe the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company, IBEDC, a N495m bill, as being insinuated.

UCH’s Public Relations Officer, Mrs Funmilayo Adetuyibi, stated this in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Ibadan.

NAN reports that IBEDC had disconnected power supply to UCH due to what it called accumulated bills of N495m, thus throwing the facility into darkness.

Adetuyibi, however, said that it was not true that the hospital had an accumulated bill of N495m over the last three years.

She said that the present UCH administration, led by Prof. Jesse Otegbayo, assumed office on March 1, 2019, and inherited over N27m as of February 27, 2019, adding that it had since ensured the monthly payment of bills brought by IBEDC.

According to her, the UCH management has also been settling the backlog of bills inherited from previous administrations.

The statement reads:

“The attention of the Management of the University College Hospital, Ibadan has been drawn to a “special report” filed by the Correspondent of Channels Television, Bukola Oriowo, where she made some unfounded allegations about the management of the Hospital.

While we can say that we have outstanding bills to settle with the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC), the Hospital Management has left no stone unturned in our proactive approach in making our teeming patients have access to adequate medical care at all times.

It is not true that the Hospital has an accumulated bill of N495m over the last three years. The outstanding bill, as at the assumption of office, was 241 million Naira, and the payment plan for defraying the outstanding and payment of current bills was maintained until the tariff was arbitrarily increased .

On the current disconnections of power supply to the Hospital, the Management has had several meetings with the IBEDC management. A payment plan on how to offset the backlog of the outstanding debt has been forwarded to both the consultant of IBEDC and the Regional Head of IBEDC .This payment plan was rejected by IBEDC. They insisted on an immediate payment of 250 million Naira .

This Management’s catchphrase is “patient comfort and staff welfare”. The disconnection

of power supply has become a challenge to water supply to the Hospital and other critical

operational services.

To put on record, the Hospital has never spent 160 million Naira on diesel on a monthly basis. We spend an average of 17 million per month on diesel, depending on power supply from IBEDC.

Also , we have not experienced 24 hours of power supply in the Hospital.The Internal Audit Department of the Hospital has a daily record of the electricity supplied to the hospital by IBEDC.

The narrative of patients’ relations buying sachet water does not arise even though the hospital presently does not have optimal water supply due to power outage, we rely on the generators to pump water.

The hospital has 45 generators. Out of these 45 generators, some are due for servicing while some are due for replacement. The Hospital Management has also made available solar inverter in some areas (All out-patients’ clinics, South East 3 ward, East 3 ward, South west 2 ward, Accident and Emergency Department, Endoscopy Suites, ECG Suites, South West 3 Ward(endowed by Abib Olamitoye Foundation), Staff Clinic, Owena Dialysis Ward, Medical Microbiology Department amongst others.

As stated earlier, the contention we have with IBEDC is the outstanding bill.

This year we have received a bill of 147 million Naira. We paid 50 million in January 2024, 55 million in February, 2024, and 45 million in March 2024, totalling 150 million Naira. We have appealed to the IBEDC on several occasions not to charge UCH on commercial rates because we render social services. But our appeals have not had the ears of the Company.

However, in order to mitigate the effect of power outages, the hospital has set up an energy committee charged with the responsibility of raising funds for the payment of electricity bills. to have funds to provide solar powered energy to other service areas in the Hospital. Aside from that, the energy committee is to find sustainable solutions to the Hospital energy problem.

We plead to well-meaning individuals, corporate organisations, and the international community at large to come to the aid of the Hospital. The UCH is a national heritage, our collective legacy.

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By oyonews

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