Opinions

REDUCE POWER TARIFFS TO INCREASE ELECTRICITY ACCESS TO UGANDANS

By Guest Writer

OPINION: Dear Editor, Recently media houses reported that the Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) will not reduce the electricity tariffs in the country.

It should be noted that the government has been investing in big hydropower dams in the country to increase electricity access to the citizens of Uganda.

However, with the high power tariffs, the common man has suffered a number of challenges.

This is also observed in the auditor’s report of 2021 on how Uganda has lost over 80 billion shillings in deemed power.

In addition, the government introduced tax exemptions for the Bujagali hydropower dam and at the same time reduced the power tariffs to 5 cents per Kilo Unit.

However, it has not performed to its expectations and according to the Tax Expenditures Report FY 2020/21, this exemption has cost the country UGX 3.67 billion.

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The government continues to invest in the electricity sector like in various hydropower dams including the 600MW Karuma and 183MW Isimba hydropower dams yet they have not benefited Ugandans to improve their livelihoods which calls for urgency to invest in alternative energy sources such as solar power which has the potential to increase the accessibility to power for the many rural communities without paying power dues.

In conclusion, the provision of access to modern energy services for all is a key global challenge and has been recognised in the United Nations (UN)’s 2030.

Agenda for Sustainable Development Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 aims to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all by 2030.

Therefore, there is a need for the government to reduce power tariffs and address many other electricity sector challenges so as to achieve SDG 7 in Uganda.

The author is Rachael Amongin {ramongin@afiego.org}, the Assistant Communications Officer at Africa Institute for Energy Governance {AFIEGO}

Disclaimer: We as UG Reports Media LTD welcome any opinion by any one if it’s of constructive use to the Development of Uganda. All the expressions and opinions in this write-up are not of UG Reports Media LTD but for the author of the article.

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