Wednesday, February 23, 2011
NAWEC Faces Stiff Resistance From Public
According to NAWEC management the company is currently under extreeme financial difficulties to sustain the operation of NAWEC. This according to the is due to its ever increasing cost of both light and heavy fuel adcibricants, increasing cost of energy purchased from the IPP (generating capacity) and high operational costs resulting them to short term borrowing from commercial banks at exerbitant cost.
With this regards NAWEC on the 27th of December 2010 applied for an initial tariff increase of about 31% for electricity, and cost recovery for water ed sewage services in the city Banjul. PURA found the initial application to be satisfactory for most of the data required to compute NAWEC’s proposed tariff.
However, NAWEC was requested to provide additional information and clarify some of the costs they have submitted, from the receipt of the costs they have submitted from the receipt of the application the PURA has embarked on the consultation in the all stakeholders including the central government, local authmites and industry in the form of individual meetings and a Tripartite one between NAWEC, key stakeholders and PURA on the 28th January 2011.
The submission (application) from NAWEC application. The public hearing was meant to obtain public comment on the proposed tariff increment that also an opportunity to take on board the concerns of affected and interested citizens through an open and transparent process. The public hearing was chaired by Peter Gomez of West Coast Radio, after the introduction by the presiding officer from PURA of the matter being heard and also announce the ground rules for hearing.
PURA will then describe the application being considered, identity and discuss the analysis of the tariff application members of the public will then be allows to ask for any clarification from PURA at this point. The father farell hall at west field was almost full to capacity, after NAWEC presentation almost everyone in the hall raised his or her hand up to register their comments, concerns and questions to the proposed tariff increase by NAWEC.
Almost 98% of all those who contribute disagree with the tariff proposal indicating NAWEC to explore other sources than exploiting the public considering the economic status of the Gambia and its people. At some point NAWEC faced stiff resistance from the public saying that NAWEC should be restructured. Some even said that NAWEC is over staff and over stretched wanting to electrify the whole country at once, which is not possible.
According to NAWEC monies owed to them is more than D300m which the public argue should be paid back, and large part of the money is owed to then by government and area councils. Some even said that the street lights are also contributing factor, which are not paid for regularly or at blackout. What is clear is that the public totally disagree with the propose tariff increasement to be able to sustain their operation.