By Abdul Rahman Suagibu –
NEW AFRICA DAILY NEWS, Freetown, Sierra Leone- The Board of Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Corporation (REREC) has declared stringent measures that suppliers of poles must adhere to. Earlier in November, 2019; it’s incumbent on poles suppliers to showcase that, they plant at least the same number of trees felled in a bid to replace the ones being cutting down. After a board meeting at the parastatal’s office in Nairobi’s south C on Friday, Chairman Simon Gicharu said, the measures will also aid in dealing with cases where fraudsters traders cheat the system by registering firms under the category of Youth and Women yet the beneficiaries of 30% tenders set aside are net from within that bracket.
“We are happy to work closely with the Directorate of Criminal Investigations to unmask fraudsters; he said.
The board had earlier met a group of suppliers and took them through the news guidelines ahead of the implementation.
The agencies chairman said, they will work hand in gloves with the Ministry of Environment to plant two million trees by next year. He announced, the agency will only accept poles from trees grown locally.
Mainly, suppliers prefer importing the commodity from countries such as South Africa once they win the tenders.
He emphasized that, this was part of a deliberate move to support President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Legacy project on manufacturing.
“You have heard of our home-made stuff before. We want to empower local entrepreneurs instead of bleeding our economy,” Mr. Gicharu noted.
The parastatal is also in the process of procuring additional testing equipment to ensure that; the poles meet the set quality standards.
“When they bring in sub-standard poles, we will reject them,” Mr. Gicharu said. He said Rerec is committed to meeting out rogue suppliers Mr. Gicharu, who is serving his second term at the agency, vowed to bring sweeping changes at the state corporation.
In August, and that, they had embarked on increasing the number of energy centres in the country.
The agency planned to roll out nineteen centres across the country as well as twenty-five mini hybrid centres funded by the World Bank to ensure the entire country is connected to the national grid.
He added that, the agency will set up 147 small solar plants in off grid towns to light up homes in Mandera, Garissa, Turkana, Wajir, Lamu and Tana River.
He said that, they will lift up the successful implementation of the 54.6 megawatt (MW) Garissa Solar Power Plant the largest in East and Central Africa to increase energy centres across the country.
For New Africa Daily News Abdul Rahman Suagibu Reports, Africa Correspondent