#Article (Archive)

NAWEC’s headache

Oct 17, 2011, 12:30 PM

There is no denying the fact that the electricity supply situation in this country has deteriorated abysmally for the past two months or so.

From Banjul to Brikama, people have literally been thrown into darkness, making life very difficult for everyone.

Indeed, this state of affairs is, to say the least, strange as NAWEC has within the past two years commissioned new generators, much to the excitement of Gambians.

What makes the situation even more confusing is the fact that, despite the power outage, cash power is expensive and consumers who are still using the old metres are billed heavily for electricity and water consumption.

These bills sometimes run very high, so much so that consumers who are unable to settle their bills usually have their metres disconnected.

One thing NAWEC should understand is that in return for their heavy bills, citizens expect to be given excellent services.

But this is not usually the case. Power outage is frequent, yet electricity bills and water rates remain astronomical. The reasoning is that NAWEC is not getting enough to meet its mounting costs.

Sometime ago, it was even said that NAWEC was not able to meet its obligations to the public, because consumers defaulted in settling of bills. But we now have cause to disbelieve this premise.

We listened with keen interest to the meeting by President Yahya Jammeh with officials of NAWEC at State House last week. As always, President Jammeh warned NAWEC officials against gross negligence, and a laisser-faire attitude to work.

He warned that the people employed to do the job must either fulfill their responsibilities or leave.

As we always state on these pages, public servants must work hand in hand with each other for the development of their respective institutions.

Governance at any level is a demanding business. It requires integrity, energy and resourcefulness.

Anyone who does not feel up to the job should have the good sense to decline it, when it is offered to him or her.

To give the impression of competence, when you do not have what it takes to deliver good results, is to court disgrace and stigma.

The benefits of having uninterrupted power supply day in day out are too numerous to state here. Suffice to note that electricity is the pivot of any modern economy.

In this dire situation, it is imperative that we ask: What is to be done about NAWEC’s present situation?

“I’m not frightened of the darkness outside. It’s the darkness inside houses I don’t like”.