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HomeTrendingZambia to experience acute electricity shortage if tariffs are not increased – Musokotwane

Zambia to experience acute electricity shortage if tariffs are not increased – Musokotwane

By BUUMBA CHIMBULU

UNLESS we continue to gradually increase the electricity tariffs in the next five years, there is a real possibility that Zambia would slide into serious power shortage, Finance and National Planning Minister Situmbeko Musokwane has warned.

Dr Musokotwans says Zambi is in the next five years expected to have a serious electricity shortage, the more reason Cabinet has approved a gradual tariff increase of energy prices to attract investment in the sector.

And Dr Musokotwane has disclosed that the country’s external debt has now swelled to US$13.36 billion as at end of September 2022, owing to a continuation of projects left by the previous government.

Dr Musokotwane was speaking at the town hall meeting in Lusaka yesterday to discuss the 2022 Economic Performance and 2023 Budget Execution.

Dr Musokotwane said the current electricity being generated was not enough to supply the country for the next five years and that there a real possibility that the country could slide into serious energy crisis in the next five years.

“All I am saying now is that for us to interest the private investors into electricity because ZESCO is not capable to handle this problem, the price of electricity has to increase. If we do not increase the electricity prices, then I am afraid we are going to have a serious shortage of electricity in this country.

“We will allow a gradual increase in the tariff over a five year period. This is important to give a signal to those who are willing to invest in the sector so that we avoid serious shortage of electricity by the time the new mines are opening up.  There so many companies willing to invest in this sector providing the prices enable them to make profits,” Dr Musokotwane said.

Dr Musokotwane emphasised that Government had no other option but to take up this measure of increasing electricity tariffs and avert the power deficit in the coming years.

“Cabinet has approved the gradual increase of electricity over a five year period to allow investment in the energy sector. We have no other choice on how to mitigate this electricity shortage. In the next five years, Zambia will have a very serious shortage of electricity,” he said.

Meanwhile, Dr Musokotwane has said the country’s external debt has increased by 2.5 percent to US$13.36 billion from US$13.04 billion as at end of December 2021.

Dr Musokotwane attributed the increase in external debt to the continuation of the projects left by the former ruling party which were deemed important.

“The continuation of these projects deemed important led to the modest increase of the external debt to US$13.36 billion.

“As at end-December 2022, the stock of Government securities increased by nine percent to K210.0 billion from K193.0 billion as at end December 2021. Resources raised were used to finance Government operations,” Dr Musokotwane said.

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