Audit flags electrification firm's stalled projects and pending bills

Auditor General Nancy Gathungu. [Mose Sammy, Standard] 

Auditor General Nancy Gathungu has exposed Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Corporation (Rerec) over its continued failure to complete multi-billion projects.

In her 2022/2023 report, Ms Gathungu queried the implementation of rural electrification projects in five regions, the implementation of six projects in Mageta, Takawiri and Ngodhe and also decried the delay in funding of key projects.

She was also concerned by the long outstanding pending bills, low projects performance, lack of environmental impact assessment of the project sites and low budget absorption.

According to the report, the implementation of the rural electrification projects in five regions were to commence in 2013 and were to be undertaken at a cost of Sh5.8 billion.

They were supposed to be completed by December 30, 2024. But despite the government structuring a financing agreement with four financiers, the projects have stalled.

The Auditor General noted that according to the corporation’s statement of receipts and payments, Sh3.8 billion had so far been incurred on the projects with only a few months to the expected completion dated.

This means that only 65 per cent of the scope of work had been done despite 105 months of the total 111 months having lapsed.

The report further showed that out of the total budgeted project cost of Sh5.83 billion, projects with a total cost of Sh1.52 billion had not been started.

“Management did not explain how they intend to fast track the implementation of the projects, considering the fact that the financing agreements will lapse on December 30,2024,” read the report in part.

“In the circumstances, delay in project implementation has affected the project’s planned activities and therefore impacting negatively on service delivery to the public.”

Gathungu has also cited the delayed implementation of three out of six projects in Mageta, Takawiri and Ngodhe. The project at Mageta was valued at Sh13.68 million but at the time of audit, civil works had not been done, lighting fixtures were yet to be connected, and the paint on ceiling board was peeling off.

At Takwiri, the project was being undertaken at a cost of Sh3.76 million but at the time of audit no workers were on site, civil works were yet to be done, some solar panels were yet to be fixed, windows were broken and the floor was cracked

“…lighting fixtures had not been installed while the perimeter wall had not been constructed,” reads the report.

At the Ngodhe project valued at Sh2.75 million, an audit of the site revealed no workers on site. Civil works were yet to be done, the solar panel was damaged and one was missing.

There was also indication of vandalism - windows were broken and the floor was cracked. The lighting fixtures were not installed and perimeter fence had not been constructed.

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