Energy Expert Johnstone Chikwanda has commended government’s move to shorten the approval process for power purchases with Zesco to 10 days in some cases and plans to amend some certain laws to shorten the regulatory approval process.
Dr. Chikwanda however says apart from amending specific laws whose aim is to shorten the approval process, government should also consider improving funding to the institutions mandated to deal with the approval stages such as local councils, Zambia Environmental Management Agency and the Energy Regulation Board as they have been failing to operate within the stipulated time frames in which they are to conclude certain approvals due to chronic underfunding.
He notes that some of the reasons that can be attributed to the failure by the institutions to follow the guidelines include inadequate man power in departments which are at the cutting age of the service delivery, inadequate presence in provincial centres and inadequate management authority to provide for the interim authorizations pending board approvals.
Meanwhile, Dr. Chikwanda has challenged Zesco to update the nation on the progress made in dismantling the backlog of connections and how many connections are expected over the next year.
He has also challenged the Rural Electrification Authority to update the nation on how many connections are to be made from the 2023 budgetary allocation which was doubled so that the country can keep track of electrification rate performance as the country draws closer to 2030 target of universal access to electricity.
During his address to parliament last Friday, President Hakainde Hichilema highlighted that government has shortened approval processes for procurement of Power Purchase Agreement –PPA- with Zesco to 10 days in some cases.

By editor

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