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State appoints committee to ‘prefect’ Kenya Power reforms

The committee will be implementing the recommendations made by the Presidential Taskforce on Review of PPAs. [File, Standard]

The Government has appointed a committee to oversee planned reforms at Kenya Power, shortly after the electricity firm was declared a special State project.

Industrial & Commercial Development Corporation (ICDC) Chairman John Ngumi will head the committee whose key mandate includes ensuring Kenya Power puts in places measures to bring down electricity prices by 33 per cent by end of this year.

The committee will be implementing the recommendations made by the Presidential Taskforce on Review of Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), also chaired by Ngumi.

The task force, which was appointed in March this year, reported to the President last month. It made a number of recommendations including the review of PPAs, which are contracts that electricity producers have with Kenya Power and largely blamed for the high cost of power in the country.

In a Gazette Notice dated October 7, the Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua said the committee will “oversee, co-ordinate and monitor the implementation of the recommendations of the Presidential Taskforce” and “provide advisory and technical support during the implementation of the recommendations of the Presidential Taskforce.

Ngumi in an interview admitted that it will be a tough job and that his newly formed committee has work cut out for it. He, however, declined to disclose the extent of the rot in the electricity sector that the task force found but said they are contained in the report that he handed to the president.

The report, he stated, outlines what it would take to have cheaper power as well as what informed the recommendation. “The report contains a raft of recommendations. The State House statement just shared 10 priority areas. The committee will oversee the implementation of these and the other recommendations contained in the report,” said Ngumi,

Others are State House Chief of Staff Nzioka Waita, Energy Principal Secretary Gordon Kihalangwa, Solicitor General Kennedy Ogeto, Central Bank Chair Mohammed Nyaoga and National Treasury’s Stanley Kamau.

The committee members also include Kenya Power directors Sachen Gudka, Caroline Kittony and Elizabeth Rogo. Other members are Anne Eriksson, Elizabeth Muli, Yida Kemoli, Aaron Ringera, James Mcfie, Wanjiku Wakogi, James Mwangi and John Mutua.

Most of the members of the new committee were also part of the task force on the review of PPAs. The committee will report periodically to the Cabinet Sub-Committee on KPLC chaired by Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i, with the first of the progress report set to be submitted by December 5 this year.

The committee will now oversee different aspects to the reforms at Kenya Power that will see the cost of power reduce to Sh16 per unit of electricity (kilowatt-hour –kWh) from the current Sh24 per unit, in line with the recommendations the members made earlier.

This would translate to a 33 per cent drop. “The consequence of the proposed interventions is that a consumer who previously spent Sh500 per month on electricity shall by December 31, 2021 pay Sh330 per month,” said State House in a September 29 statement.

The Ngumi chaired committee will also oversee the renegotiation of PPAs that Kenya Power has signed with Independent Power Producers (IPPs) to reduce tariffs.

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