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PAC/PEC adopts PURA’s Annual Report

Oct 21, 2011, 1:51 PM | Article By: Lamin B. Darboe

The Public Accounts/Public Enterprises Committee of the National Assembly Wednesday adopted the annual report and financial statement of the Public Utilities and Regulatory Authority (PURA).

The report, presented before members of the committee by Abdou Jobe, Managing Director of PURA, highlighted among others the authority’s operations including its financial performance.

The report also highlighted PURA’s concern over the payment of regulatory fees by some institutions notably the National Water and Electricity Company (NAWEC) and Global Electric Group (GEG).

Noting that PURA’s main source of income is regulatory fees charged to regulated utilities, Jobe said the amount demanded from operators as regulatory fees is based on the annual budget of PURA, which is approved by the Board of Director.

“The amount collectible as regulatory fees was pegged at a ceiling of 1.5% of the operator’s turnover, which is one of the lowest charged by regulatory authorities in Africa,” the report stated.

According to the report, the ceiling was determined to ensure that operators do not incur exorbitant regulatory charges which are passed onto the costumers.

“Despite that consideration, the payment of regulatory fees by NAWEC and GEG has not been encouraging. Out of the amount of D37.837 million budgeted as regulatory fees income, only D25.177 million was collected,” the report said, adding that the non-compliance by NAWEC and GEG has continued to hamper the implementation of some of PURA’s regulatory activities in the energy sector.

The report also stated that the ministry of Energy with a view to addressing the concerns of the investors and the general populace came up with a further reduction in PURA approved rates in 2010.

“This reduction carried out by the Energy Ministry clearly demonstrated government’s policy objectives of industrial growth and development of 10% reduction in commercial and industries customer classes is expected to beef up economic activity in the country,” it said.

These assumptions, the report added, could only be realized if NAWEC could meet the demand of the industrial sector.

PURA’s boss Abdou Jobe, called on the management and board members of NAWEC to strengthen their connection unit with a view to reducing the suppressed demand, noting that there was no major additional investment during the year under review other than the routine maintenance of the engines.

He said the available capacity at Kotu grid remained at 35 MW while at Brikama IPP as in the case of Kotu, the company other than routine maintenance, have not done any major investment aimed at increasing the available capacity which stands at 16.5MW.