December 15, 2023 1:56 pm

By Jonan Kiiza

The Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA), in accordance with its mandate every year, approves the budgets of all licensees in the electricity supply industry (ESI). Before any approvals is made by the Authority, a public hearing is organized to allow all licensees to present and defend their budgets and answer any concerns from the public. This year’s annual tariff hearing was held at the Imperial Royale Hotel and was graced by the presence of Dr. Sarah Wasagali Kanabi, the Authority chairperson, in cohorts with Eng. Ziria Tibalwa Wako, ERA Chief Executive Officer.

On the side of the licensees, Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited (UEGCL), Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited, Uganda Electricity Distribution Company Limited, and Umeme Limited were in attendance with their principals and representatives.

The UEDCL team was led by Mwesigwa Paul, MD, Jacqueline Kiwanuka, CFO, Eng. Protaze Tibyakinura, Chief Engineer, and other members of the senior management team. Mr. Mwesigwa’ prayed to the authority for approval of the lease and assignment (LAA) of 49.9 billion Ugandan shillings to enable the organization to achieve critical projects, including preparations for the Umeme asset re-transfer.

“The company’s budget for the year 2024/25 shall focus on fleet expansion, engineering and ICT services, labor and logistical support, stakeholder engagements, URSB fees (conversion of debt to equity), and depreciation,” said Paul Mwesigwa, UEDCL MD, before the Authority’s presiding officer, Dr. Sarah Wasagali Kanabi.

UEDCL operations currently span over 86 political districts across the country. In the past two years, the company has absorbed the operations of two concessions formerly operated by PACMECS and BECS, and people are enjoying improved quality of service. This gesture continues to affirm UEDCL’s readiness and position as the national electricity distributor. The company’s cash collections stand at 100%, with power reliability at 91%. The digitalization of both network operations and internal systems is meant to continue in the next financial year.