By Omar Bah
The managing director of Nawec Nani Juwara yesterday revealed a new upward revision in the price of electricity and water, taking effect on 10 April.
Addressing a press briefing on the matter, Mr Juwara began by justifying the increment arguing that the company cannot sustain operating under its current tariff that was last updated nine years ago.
“Things are no more the same globally. We have seen unprecedented changes or increases in the cost of materials particularly in the case of Nawec. Our major cost drivers are fuel, lubricants, spare parts and other materials which have all gone up as a result of the impact of Covid-19 and the Russia-Ukraine war. We have been struggling to manage the situation but it is now impossible to manage and if we want to sustain our operations, we also have to face the reality,” Juwara told the assembled press corp.
He said the current global crisis has meant that cost of materials in the energy sector has jumped significantly and beyond control, especially in developing countries such as The Gambia. “Most of our materials are coming from outside and that makes it really difficult. In 2015, Nawec used to buy fuel D40 per liter but now it’s almost D78 per liter. That is a huge jump. Equally, when the tariff was last set in 2015, we were buying heavy fuel at $444 per metric ton but this has jumped to over $650 today,” Mr Juwara lamented.
He explained also that foreign exchange losses affecting Nawec’s operations have also compounded matters.
“A dollar was fixed at D45 but today a dollar on average is about D62 or more. So, Nawec is making huge losses on a monthly basis in terms of foreign exchange and this has really compounded our situation,” he said.
According to the new tariff, electricity charges for domestic consumers (household) will rise from D10.14 to D13.85 per kilowatt, commercial customers from D10.90 to D14.90 per kilowatt; hotel industries from D11.65 to D15.90 per kilowatt; agricultural customers from D10.14 to D13.89 per kilowatt; area councils from D10.90 to D16.20 per kilowatt and central government from D10.90 to D16.20 per kilowatt. When it comes to water, domestic consumers’ tariff will go up from D13.5 to D18 per cubic meter, commercial customers from D10.90 to D14.90 per cubic meter; hotels D24.20 to D28.50 per cubic meter, agricultural customers from D20 to D14.50 per cubic meter; area councils from D16.29 to D19.79 per cubic meter and central government from D16.79 to D19.79 per cubic meter.