Yesterday, Uganda’s electricity distributor Umeme announced that schools will be given a grace period of 1 year to pay their pending power bills.
In an interview with Fatboy on RX Radio, Umeme’s Head of Communication Peter Kauju said the deferred payment plan has been given to education institutions because of how hard the sector has been affected by the pandemic.
“We understand that Covid affected almost every sector but as Umeme, we recognized that the education sector was the worst hit in that the institutions owe us up to Ugx 5 billion in total. So we have agreed to work with all learning institutions that reach out to us to resolve a payment plan that will help them pay as they earn during the year.”
Fatboy asked the Head of Communications if the exemption will not cause losses to the utility company to which Kauju held that Umeme understands how its customers who are operating schools have been out of business for almost two years, hence the period is to help them pick up themselves.
In addition, he mentioned that the power distributor is giving the one year grace period which will require all the institutions to have cleared their outstanding balances within that period. The period, he said, is to be given to institutions that apply for the payment holiday since some institutions may not resume operations come next year.
“It's not automatic because we know that some schools may close for good and not resume so we encourage the proprietors of schools that are to resume to reach our service centers or online platforms to engage with us on an individual basis such that we can make a plan best suited for them,” Kauju said.
After the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown restrictions, schools in the country have been closed for almost two years and are set to reopen next month on January 10th.
The Fatboy show is hosted by James Onen aka Fatboy, Olive, Sarah and Lesham every weekday from 6am to 10am on RX Radio.