Over 500 blood units compromised after AEDC power cut – Commission | Dailytrust

Over 500 blood units compromised after AEDC power cut – Commission

No fewer than 500 units of blood collected from voluntary blood donors have been compromised following disruption of power supply to the National Blood Service Commission (NBSC) headquarters by the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) last Friday.

The commission in a statement signed by the Head of Media and Publicity Haruna Abdullahi on Wednesday said it had not defaulted in payment to AEDC to warrant the power cut.

The commission houses donated blood awaiting distribution to hospitals.

The statement said, “The headquarters of the National Blood Service Commission was thrown into total darkness on Friday, 21st January 2022 when officials of the AEDC abruptly cut off power supply to the commission.

“This is more shocking given that the commission had just paid its outstanding bills on 29th December, 2021.

“Available correspondence from the AEDC to the commission shows a bill submitted to the commission on 5th January, 2022 asserting the due date of payment as 17th January, 2022.

“The company’s decision to cut off electricity supply on the 21st January 2022 leaves a stint of incredulity and total disregard for civility especially in a sector as sensitive as the Blood commission.”

The commission said the compromised units of blood were at risk of being discarded as a result of the power outage which caused them to be unsafe.

NBSC said the company’s lack of thoroughness in reconciling available data at its disposal and the incongruity between presented bills and the irregularity of power supply to the NBSC headquarters is responsible for the crisis.

“In coming days, the shortage of safe blood to patients in need of it will hit Nigerians as a result of the ill-conceived action of the power company unless this flagrant disregard for the lives of Nigerians is addressed.

“Up until the 22nd of December, 2021 the National Blood Service Commission had made a series of requests directly and via electronic means for the installation of a prepaid meter at the headquarters of the comission.

“The company’s adamant refusal to issue the requested prepaid meter after more than two years of continuous repeated request that would enable the commission to prudently monitor and control its electricity consumption followed by this abrupt disconnection leaves much to be desired,” NBSC said in the statement.

It also questioned the arbitrary and exponential hike in the cost of power supply to the commission by AEDC.

“How did the commission’s bills increase from 350k to 700k within one year, even with same equipment and consumption; even with back up alternative power sources like generators and solar inverter in place. A prepaid meter will enable the commission regulate her consumption, alas! The company prefers its unscientific and hard to measure estimated billing system, ” it said

When contacted , the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) said that the National Blood Service Commission (NBSC) has been reconnected to the network.

A management official at AEDC who said he was yet to get clearance to speak said it was disconnected because of debt and failure to pay after a notice.

“There are three areas that we don’t want to disconnect easily: health, the academic and security. We don’t just go into their place like that. Disconnection is usually the last option and before it is implemented. When was the last time you heard that we disconnected the National Hospital?

“We are in touch with our field officers on the issue. They have a meter because they are maximum demand customers on postpaid;the Meter Number for NBSC is: 95404835 and the meter type is AMR.

“AEDC gave them a notice to disconnect because of their indebtedness and they said they were coming for negotiations but they never did. All I can say is that due process was followed as specified by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).”

“Despite all of these issues, the agency has been reconnected and they are not out of supply now,” he said.

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