Ethiopia’s Utility Firm Collects Nearly 15bln Birr Revenue

ADDISABEBA – State-run utility firm reported on Thursday it has failed to hit both its targets in revenue and the number of customers who are expected to get electricity access in a year.

Ethiopian Electric Utility (EEU) collected 413 million US dollars (nearly 15blnbirr) in the 2019/20 fiscal year, which ended on July 7.

The amount is only 59 percent of its target for the fiscal year which 690million US dollars, said Shiferaw Telila, CEO of EEU, during a press conference.

The CEO said the utility firm is currently facing various challenges including mal-admiration, power and utility infrastructure theft, FOREX shortage as well as issues related to overworked distribution and substation centers, among others.

But, he said, the tariff increment that was introduced almost two years ago has helped to increase its capacity by boosting the firm’s revenue by 82.7 million dollars last year.

The company has also started to take measures to mend improper behavior and poor management. EEU has fired 75 employees, penalized 219 employees, and gave astern warning to 7 others during the period, according to Shiferaw.

“Electric infrastructures theft has become a challenging and alarming problem,” he said. “We need the public to be vigilant in protecting them and inform the authorities when seeing unfamiliar people in and around the facilities”.

The company has also failed to hit its target of connecting one million new customers to electric power.

Only 168,751 households have managed to get electricity during the fiscal year, said Shiferaw, saying challenges to get inputs such as transformers for the failure.

According to the CEO, the utility firm has provided electric power for at least325 rural villages that did not have access to power. The plan was to connect405 rural towns.

For the current fiscal year, the state-run EEU has planned to collect 690million US dollars while connecting one million additional customers to the power grid in the current fiscal year that already began on July 8, 2020.

It also plans to install 50,000 modern smart electric readers.