Ugandan electricity and distributor Umeme has come out to give educational institutions a one-year grace period to pay outstanding arrears.
This was said by Umeme’s managing director Selestino Babungi while peaking to journalists yesterday afternoon.
“We understand the negative impact that the pandemic has had on academic institutions and that’s why we decided to adopt the one-year grace period.” Babungi said.
Umeme says many educational institutions are still unable to meet their bills because of the lockdown hence the decision to revise the repayment plan.
“We understand that they are under difficult situations in that they don’t have extra revenues, they have a lot of operating costs to meet. They have actually to restart the whole system, it requires a significant cost to reboot,” Babungi added on.
This comes when there are only about three weeks to resume business.
Of recent, Umeme was no longer connecting new houses to power over COVID.
Babungi says that through various engagements with partners like financial institutions, Umeme, NWSC and others, they recognise that there is need to support these institutions as partners.
Currently, Umeme says education institutions owe over Shs 5 billion in arrears in power bills. The arrears accumulated over the two years since government announced the closure of schools to contain the spread of Covid-19 in the country.
Selestino says that even though Umeme’s 20-year concession has only three years to expire, they are committed to continuing to provide services to Ugandans regardless of the challenges.
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