The Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH), Prof. Ikpeme A. Ikpeme, has said he inherited a N3 billion debt when he became the CMD.
Ikpeme, who spoke at the hospital’s conference room during a meeting with the creditors and contractors, appealed for patience and cooperation as the two-month old management works out a payment plan.
He said: “We invited you to appeal for your patience. We are just struggling now, and it’s a struggle to get going and getting the place to function as it should. We have also promised you that we will regularly set aside a certain percentage of our earnings and allow it to accumulate; once it gets to a certain level, we will pay you in batches no matter how little, On the basis of first come first serve.
“We will set up a committee and from time to time they will call you up. We will also have a database of our contractors so that those still interested in working with us will register.
“I don’t think any CMD will like to inherit a debt of N2.5 billion to N3 billion. If we have, we would have paid you like one million each to show that we are committed to paying and will partner you. But we do not have.
“We will not lie to you. This management will not lie to you. When we have, we will tell you. Give us some time. We are working as hard as we can to ensure we defray or at least begin the process of defraying the debt.”
Many of the creditors and contractors praised Ikpeme for inviting them, saying it had never happened in the years they have been in business with the hospital.