Uhuru's New Move to Reduce Power Bills

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    Kenya Power engineers carry out repairs at a power sub-station in Mombasa County in 2018
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  • President Uhuru Kenyatta has formed a 21-member steering committee to implement guidelines issued by the Presidential Taskforce on the review of power purchasing agreements with an aim of lowering electricity bills. 

    The committee chaired by ICDC Chairperson, John Ngumi, was given six months to reduce the cost of electricity in the country. Within the first four months, the committee is expected to negotiate with independent power suppliers to reduce power tariffs, which will in turn see the overall cost of electricity reduced. 

    The committee will also institute and expedite reforms at the crippled government entity and ensure Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) signs and enforces contract management frameworks for power purchase agreements procurements. 

    It is also tasked with the responsibility to implement a consumer tariff reduction from an average of Ksh24 to Ksh16 per KwH, streamlining KPLC and ensuring it records profits rather than losses within six months and reporting directly to the Head of State on the development. 

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    President Uhuru Kenyatta addresses the nation in August 2020
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    The John Ngumi-led steering committee is expected to furnish the President with its first report before December 5, 2021.

    In the execution of the tasks, Ngumi will be assisted by Nzioka Waita from the Presidential Delivery Unit (PDU), Solicitor General Kennedy Ogeto, Energy PS Gordon Kihalangwa, Aaron Ringera, James Mcfie, Mohammed Nyaoga, Elizabeth Muli, Stanley Kamau, Wanjiku Wakogi, Isaac Kiva, Caroline Kittony, Elizabeth Rogo, Sachin Gudka, James Mwangi, John Mutua, Anne Eriksson, and Yida Kemoli.

    The aforementioned members of the steering committee had their term extended and tasks reviewed after previously delivering a report with the recommendations when they sat in the Presidential Taskforce appointed to effect changes at KPLC.  

    In March 2021, Uhuru appointed them to review Kenya Power's purchase agreements. The team delivered a detailed report to Uhuru, explaining the gaps and loopholes that needed to be fixed in the embattled state agency.

    The taskforce undertook a comprehensive review and analysis of the terms of all Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), investigated the compliance of the PPAs and reviewed the sustainability and viability of all independent power generation projects.

    It also reviewed the allocation of risk between KPLC and the independent power producers. The steering committee will thus be implementing its own recommendations. 

    The move comes a few days after Interior Cabinet Secretary, Fred Matiang'i, declared Kenya Power a special government project.  On Thursday, October 7, the CS suspended ongoing and pending negotiations between KPLC and independent power producers. 

    He also formed a multi-agency investigative team comprising the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, Financial Reporting Center (FRC) and the Assets Recovery Authority (ARA) to investigate unauthorised activities, fraud and embezzlement at KPLC. 

    Kenya Power and Lighting Company engineers load a transformer onto a lorry.
    Kenya Power and Lighting Company engineers load a transformer onto a lorry.
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