Rwanda’s national power generation, transmission and distribution cooperation, Rwanda Energy Group (REG) lost over Rwf 19 billion (US$ 21.3m) due to power theft.
REG attributed the loss to illegal connections, vandalising of power infrastructure and breakages.
Rwanda’s national power grid currently accommodates close to 220 megawatts, a significant increase from 76MW in 2010 but over 44 megawatts accounting for 19 per cent is lost through theft and transmission breakages.
According to the REG, homes, commercial buildings and small scale manufacturers are the main culprits.
As recent as late last year, Rwanda secured a US$125m (Rwf 110.9 billion) loan from the World Bank for electricity rollout.
“This programme will help us (Rwanda) accelerate the implementation of its plan to achieve 100 per cent access to electricity by 2024,” Uzziel Ndagijimana, the Finance and Economic Planning Minister said then.
The loan was to specifically deliver an additional 154,000 connections countrywide as part of the three-year DPO series worth US$325m which is a continuation of the World Bank’s current financing in the energy sector.
The credit extended to Rwanda has a repayment period of 38 years with grace period of six years and an interest charge of 0.5 per cent.
But while appearing before the senate on Monday, Rwanda Energy Group (REG)’s Chief Executive Officer Ron Weiss and the acting chairman of Board, Robert Nyamvumba revealed that the group has taken steps to address the problems facing the group as highlighted in the Auditor General’s (AG) report.
The senatorial session was part of an on-going assessment by the lawmakers to review reasons behind accounting and performance flaws at various government institutions as indicated by the AG’s report.
The AG report for the fiscal year 2016/17 indicated that there were delayed financial reporting and unreliable financial statements at REG’s subsidiary Energy Utility Corporation Limited (EUCL) as well as unreliable financial statements at the company’s Energy Development Corporation Limited (EDCL).