BY OUR REPORTERS
The Minister of Energy and Mineral Development Hon. Ruth Nankabirwa has stated that government is now working around the clock to clear a backlog of 200,500 accumulated applications for new electricity connections.
This follows Cabinet’s approval to resume the Electricity Connection Policy (ECP) which had been suspended due to the overwhelming demand yet funds were limited. When Government accumulated arrears of UGX.103.408 billion, the Service Providers were unwilling to make more new connections before government settled the arrears.
However , Minister Nankabirwa explained that considering that government has now procured 87,500 no-pole connection materials worth USD 11,550,000 utilizing funds from the ongoing African Development Bank Access project and another procurement of 62,400 no-pole connection materials from the same project is underway, more Ugandans will now be connected to the national grid.
“ Procurement of 234,989 no-pole connection materials utilizing funds from the Exim Bank of China Access project (under TBEA contract) is also ongoing and these materials are expected in August, 2021. This is therefore to confirm Government commitment to increase access to clean energy in line with the NDP-III, Hon. Nankabirwa stressed.
The Minister was making a public statement about the status of the energy sector across the country . She said that her ministry was now implementing a dual connection system where customers with the ability to pay for their connections can pay in three days without waiting as government mobilizes additional resources for the ECP to clear the backlog.
Hon. Nankabirwa revealed that government pays the cost of electricity connection materials, enabling citizens that are ready for electricity consumption to access free connection materials. “Of the targeted annual connections of 300,000 connections, to date 299,843 have been realizedas of the end of June 2021. A total of1,502new connections were registered between April and June 2021,” she added.
The annual budget required to implement ECP is estimated to be UGX. 200 billion to be contributed by Government and Development Partners. By December 2020, over 290,000 connections had been implemented under the ECP.
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