Queries over large stock held at rural electricity agency’s stores

Energy CS Charles Keter during an interview at his Nyayo House office on Wednesday 05/04/17 whose relative was torture. [Boniface Okendo/Stabdard]

Materials worth millions of shillings lying idle at the Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Corporation (Rerec) store should be audited, Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter has ordered.

The CS has instructed the management to immediately take stock and automate the inventory of all materials kept in the stores and submit a report in a month’s time.

Mr Keter, who paid a visit to the firm’s store in South C, Nairobi directed the officials to undertake the audit which will be used to establish which materials are obsolete or could be given to Kenya Power.

“We have a lot of material at the entity’s stores that should be audited and taken to the field for project implementation. This will save on cost and give a clear picture of what the corporation possesses,” said Keter.

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“I have ordered the officials to conduct an immediate audit of its storage facility in Nairobi and its other stores located in various parts of the country.”

He told Sunday Standard that he also instructed the corporation to at the same time submit status reports on implemented projects within the 2018/19 financial year.

However, he emphasised that the automation of operations within the entity’s storage facilities should be with immediate effect.

But even as the CS gave strict instructions, he was not able to quantify the cost, saying this would be made public after the audit.

And as the CS pushed for accountability of Government assets, the newly appointed board of Rerec led by Simon Gicharu pledged to ensure the directive is implemented and the audit fast tracked.

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“We are already on this matter to audit the material at the corporation stores across the country. The directive came at a time when the board was also seized of the matter,” he said.

“The materials have been in stores for the last six years. The board has directed the management to furnish it with an updated list of the inventory of all the materials at the stores by age.”

Clean position

Prof Gicharu restated his instructions at a retreat in Mombasa recently between the board and the management, where he stressed the importance to start from a clean position, where there is full disclosure and transparency.

“In the past, there has been concern in the energy sector on the durability of materials used in the poles transmission,” he said.

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During his tour of the Nairobi facility, Keter said some materials could be obsolete or needed for use by KP.

“The problem is that the materials are not properly kept like the poles for high voltage line poles. The firm no longer builds high voltage lines and therefore the material will be useful to Kenya Power,” he said.

He said the exercise will help to net off the stock and clear the stores.

“If these are not sorted out, it will cause problems. We want to ascertain how many poles are available and when released to the field, it will be easy to track the project and whether they are used as specified,” said the CS.

He also raised concern over transformers at the store, which he said need to be taken to the field.

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“This will address the issue of illegal connections.”

He emphasised on the issue of internal digitisation to help in stock taking.

“This will help in coordination of operations and tracking release and purchase of material and their quality. It will even be easy for the management to know what they have, those lacking and what they don’t need,” said Keter.

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Rural ElectrificationRerecCharles KeterStock