Namibia: Illegal Electricity Connections Devour Nored's Income

21 September 2021

THE Northern Regional Electricity Distributor (Nored) is currently running on huge losses incurred as a result of illegal electricity connections and customers not honouring their monthly bills on time.

Nored currently owes national power utility NamPower an accumulated debt of N$200 million.

This was revealed at an induction training session of local and regional councillors in the Oshana region at Oshakati last week.

Nored's chief financial officer, Ndapandula Tshitayi, at the event told councillors and stakeholders the company has an arrangement with NamPower to settle its debts over a certain period of time.

NamPower supplies regional electricity distributors such as Nored with bulk electricity.

Nored is said to be nearly insolvent due to deteriorating financial statements and failing to pay its creditors on time.

Nored, however, rubbished these claims, saying the company is in good financial health, and will continue to supply and distribute electricity to its customers.

Fillemon Nakashole, Nored's chief executive officer, said the company is faced with numerous challenges, such as a high rate of copper theft, which continues to hamper the company's ability to serve its customers and stakeholders efficiently.

He said this trend is on the increase, resulting in constant power failures at a number of towns and settlements.

"We are experiencing copper theft at all our stations and at NamPower. Most cases of copper theft have been experienced at the Outapi bulk power station, and at Omuthiya and Ongwediva, but with the assistance of the police, we have managed to arrest some of the culprits. Most of them resell the copper, while others use it to make traditional bracelets.

"We see that as a serious challenge, and we from Nored are now making sure we have installed cameras at all our stations, which can be monitored to record any fraudulent activities. In terms of monetary value, this would mean economic activities at those towns would not take place. This would in turn prevent us from carrying out our mandate," Nakashole said.

He said despite these challenges, the entity has spent close to N$10 million during the 2021/22 financial year on providing and supplying peri-urban areas and central growth points with affordable electricity.

Over the years, Nored has not been able to produce financial reports due to auditors constantly resigning.

This has caused the electricity distributor to have a backlog in financial reports from 2016 to 2018.

Earlier this year, the company managed to present its backdated financial statements for 2016 and 2017.

Statements for 2018, 2019 and 2020 are yet to be finalised and presented to stakeholders.

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