4th March 2021
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Central bank boss defends decision to allocate $3m for Juba electricity supply

Author: Alhadi Hawari | Published: Sunday, February 14, 2021

Electricians at the JEDCO power transmission site on the outskirts of Juba | Credit | JEDCO

The Central Bank has defended its decision to allocate $3million –every month –to the private electricity company to run its operations.

“For us, there is the issue of heavy fuel that is needed for electricity to be available. There are companies that have been sub-contracted,” Governor Dier Tong said.

Early last month, Ezra power plant and its sub-contractor Juba Electricity Distribution Company, or JEDCO threatened to shut down power supply over failure to obtain foreign currency from the government.

The company said it had run out of dollars to import heavy fuel used for running the generators.

But a day later, the company announced it would continue supplying power after the government agreed to avail some foreign currency.

The Central Bank has since then been giving hard currency to JEDCO.

Economists have, however, described the move as unreasonable since JEDCO is a profit-making entity.

But in an exclusive interview with Eye Radio on Friday, the governor of the Central Bank said it was a collective decision made by various government institutions.

Dier Tong stated that it is important to support the company because electricity is a necessity for the public.

“We see the bigger picture is not Ezra, we are not just giving this money to Ezra Company, and we think that there is a service that is benefiting our people and it is good that the Central Bank has the capacity to support that.”

The Juba City Power Distribution System was constructed with the support of the African Development Bank, which provided 38 million US dollars.

At the end of last year, JEDCO said it had connected 10,000 households, over 3,500 businesses, and over 200 governmental institutions to the 100 Megawatts power grid.

According to the agreement, the government will take over the management of the power plant in the future.

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