Dodoma — TANZANIA Electric Supply Company (TANESCO) is yet to receive 408bn/- which the government promised the company during the national emergency rescue plan adopted in August last year to end power deficiency in the country.
The plan was adopted to ensure that the country gets adequate power, but in contrary the country has continued facing unending power blues despite several statements from the Energy and Minerals Minister that the problem was curbed.
The Bunge Committee responsible for Energy and Minerals on Friday told the Assembly that the company was failing to provide power due to the government failure to supply the fund. In the plan, TANESCO had to generate 572 megawatts between August 2011 and December but in contrary only 342 megawatts were generated, thus creating a deficit of 230 megawatts.
Tabling the committee's report before the Assembly, the committee chairman, Mr January Makamba, said that TANESCO was in a very critical financial crisis thus making power supply hard. As of April 10 this year, Mr Makamba said that the company had a debt amounting to 296.8bn/- a situation which has led some of the companies which were generating emergency power to stop their activities.
"TANESCO is in financial crisis, the debt has gone up to 296.8bn/-, this problem probably might take back the nation to a grim power shortage," Mr Makamba told the Assembly. The committee in their report noted that despite high power charges which had increased by 40.29%, the company's collection was still low, forcing TANESCO to cancel out all plans to connect power to new customers.
"TANESCO's plan was to connect power to about 137,000 new customers monthly starting from March 2012, this plan might end up in the air due to this financial crisis," he said. The committee also stated that purchasing oil for running Independent Power Tanzania Ltd (IPTL) engines was swallowed up by corrupt officials but the government had already embarked on investigations on the said corruption.
Mr Makamba also said that the country was going without laws and clear policies governing the gas sub-sector, therefore ordered the government to stop issuing licences to gas exploration companies until the policies and laws come into place. The committee also wanted the review on the bulk procurement system regulations as some oil dealers were opposing the system for being inconvenient.
The committee admitted that fuel adulteration was still prevalent despite the government decision to hike kerosene price, thus advising the Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (EWURA) to take stern measures and other steps to curb adulteration. On the mining sector, Mr Makamba noted that mining companies were yet to pay four per cent royalties to the government as per new mining acts requirement and directing the ministry to ensure that the companies immediately implement the Act by paying 4 per cent.
"The committee found that mining companies have yet to implement the new mining act which demanded them to pay 4 per cent as royalties, we want them to immediately start implementing this," he said. The committee also wanted the minister to practice "eye on, hands off" system of administration to the department and agencies falling under the ministry so as to make them independent in their duties.