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IBEDC restores power to UCH after 16-day blackout



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Sixteen days after the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company disconnected University College Hospital in Ibadan, Oyo State, for owing N495m, power has been restored to the health facility.

FIDELINFO gathered that electricity was restored around 6.30 pm on Thursday.

IBEDC disconnected the facility on March 19, the third time in less than two months, over what it called “accumulated bill indebtedness.”

While giving reasons for the disconnection, the Ibadan DisCo explained that it disconnected the hospital after failed attempts to engage with the facility’s management regarding the N495m debt, which had persisted for over six years.

However, when our correspondent visited the hospital late Thursday, it was observed that electricity had been fully restored.

There was power supply in departments like Family Medicine, Emergency, Nursing, Engineering, and Pharmacology, among others..

A source within the institution told FIDELINFO that the hospital paid part of the N495m debt before electricity was restored.

The source revealed that the hospital also signed an agreement with the electricity distribution company on how to repay the outstanding debt.

“The hospital management has paid N80m out of the N495 million and it has signed a memorandum of understanding on how to pay the rest of the money.

“The hospital just had to look for a way out because it was becoming embarrassing.

“Workers had to purchase rechargeable lamps with which to attend to patients during the period when there was no electricity supply to the hospital,” the source noted.

During the visit, our correspondent also observed that the hospital was scanty as some of the wards had started operating skeletally.

The source confirmed that many of the patients were discharged due to the power outage, while only a few in critical condition were admitted.

It was also gathered that surgeries and tests were mostly carried out outside the facility because there was no electricity in the hospital.

FIDELINFO had earlier reported that the Joint Action Committee, an umbrella body of all unions in the hospital, on Tuesday, April 2, issued a notice that staff would only work between 8am and 4pm due to power outage.

The JAC Chairman, Oludayo Olabampe, lamented that the health workers had been working without electricity since March 19 and could not continue that way.

When contacted on Thursday, he said health workers would resume fully from Friday following the restoration of electricity.

“We don’t have any reason to continue with it since the reason for it has been addressed. We are going to resume work fully, and everything will be just like it was before,” he stated

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