Business

Umeme Reassures Of More Investments To Drive Industrialization

Mr. Selestino Babungi, the Managing Director UMEME

Umeme has reiterated its commitment of driving distribution efficiencies to ensure reliable and affordable electricity supply to support Uganda’s industrialization drive and access to clean energy.

Speaking at the 9th Annual General Meeting (AGM) held on Thursday in Kampala, Mr. Patrick Bitature, the Board Chairman, said Umeme’s strategy is aligned with the Government’s electrification agenda outlined in NDP 3, focused on access to clean energy, affordability and reliable supply for industry.

“Affordable Electricity tariffs for industry remains a critical input to attract industrial investment in Uganda. We recognized, the current prices reflect the cost structures for electricity generations, transmission and distribution spread over the consumption base.  Umeme remains committed to playing its part of the equation through driving distribution efficiencies, increasing consumption and system investments to evacuate the increased generation capacity. We are completely aligned with the people of Uganda and the government in driving the country electrification agenda. It is in our interest that we have a sustainable electricity supply industry,” Mr. Bitature explained.

Bitature said even with the difficult circumstances, Umeme has transformed for the better and for the people. “We continue investing in digital and ICT solutions for the ease of doing business and delivery of services to our customers,” he said.

Bitature said the company had invested in the network by revamping the old power lines to stabilise electricity supply and reduction in energy loses from 38% in 2005 to 17% today.

Mr Patrick Bitature, Chairman of the Board speaks during the AGM

The Company has also rationalized billing and commercial processes through a rollout of technological solutions leading to a sustained collection rate of 99.8% of billed revenues.

It has also invested in distribution grid expansion, more than doubling its capacity with transformer zones increasing from 5,000 in 2005 to over 14,000 today. The utility has also increased its distribution lines to 44,000, more than quadruple its customer base to over 1.5 million from 250,000 in 2005.

Mr. Selestino Babungi, the Managing Director, said although the profits declined, the giant utility managed to complete its capital investment programme of $75m (about sh279b) to improve the network distribution capacity, supply reliability and operational efficiencies. The investment went into the building and upgrading 7 substations in Ntinda, Kakiri, Gulu, Mbale, Bombo and Nakawa, constructing distribution integration lines with transmission infrastructure, expansion of distribution transformer zones and conversion of 168,000 customers to prepayment metering.

He said the performance reflected the challenging operating and regulatory environment.

“We shall continue to focus on safety, continuity of electricity supply services, resolution of the regulatory matters, operational and financial performance,” he said.

The shareholders also re-elected Mr. Patrick Bitature as the Chairman of the Board via the hybrid/ electronic AGM held at the Kampala Serena Hotel. Hon Gerald Ssendaula and Ms. Florence N Mawejje were also re-elected as Directors of the Board.

The AGM also approved the annual financial statements for the year-ended 31 December 2020 and shs12.2 per ordinary share dividend.

The AGM also approved the appointment of M/S Ernst & Young Certified Public Accountants as external auditors for 2021.

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