Govt to borrow UGX1.4 trillion to revive free power connection policy

Govt to borrow UGX1.4 trillion to revive free power connection policy

Energy Minister Dr. Goretti Kitutu (PHOTO/File). KAMPALA – The government is in advanced stages to secure 1.4 Trillion Shillings from the World Bank to support the free Electricity Connections Policy (ECP).

According to the Minister of Energy and Mineral Development Mary Goretti Kitutu, the money expected to be obtained at the beginning of the financial year 2022/2023 is one of the interventions to ensure smooth electricity connections in the country.

Kitutu presented a statement on the floor of parliament on Wednesday regarding the Electricity Connections Policy. The statement follows issues previously raised by legislators regarding the suspension of the free electricity connection policy.

The Government on 7th December 2020 gave power distribution companies a go-ahead to charge the full price of connection due to strained government resources. The costs for domestic consumers range from 720,883 Shillings where no pole is required, to 2,387,472 million Shillings where one pole is required, with uninsulated cables, on top of the 41,300 Shillings in inspection fees.

Before the introduction of free connections in 2018, it would cost one between 90,000 and 400,000 Shillings for no-pole and one-poll connections respectively. Even with this, the government was heavily subsidizing the sector, especially connections to help more Ugandans access electricity.

The ECP was aimed at increasing access from 20% to 26% by 2020 and 60% by 2027. This would be achieved by increasing the number of connections made annually from the average 70,000 before the policy was made to 300,000 customers a year at full implementation.

In her statement, Minister Kitutu says that the suspension of the free Electricity Connectivity Policy was informed by the high number of applications for new connections which required a high budget.

According to Kitutu, the backlog of electricity connections due to funds constraints by end of July 2020 stood at 200,000 countrywide.

She added that besides the backlog of 200,000 electricity connections, as at 10th July 2020, Government was in arrears for connections made by Service Providers amounting to 103.409 billion Shillings.

“As an interim measure, Government opened up the implementation of the Electricity Connections Policy with effect from 7th December 2020 to allow consumers that were willing to pay for their connections and had funds to do so to be connected on time while those who had no funds were advised to wait for Government to mobilize the necessary funds,” said Minister Kitutu.

She added that before the introduction of the ECP, the cost for new connections was highly […]

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