RUNDU -The Northern Regional Electricity Distributor (Nored) engaged stakeholders at a two-day public infrastructure funding conference in Rundu.
The conference started on Tuesday and ended yesterday.
It was held under the theme, Enhance and sustain socio-economic development through an accelerated public infrastructure investment intervention that is aligned to the current mantra of, Namibia is Open for Business.
“We chose this theme because of our passion to harnessing partnerships for infrastructure investment, expansion and national socio-economic transformation. It also sharpens the Government of Namibia’s delivery on its vision on energy, to close the access gaps and improve the well-being and quality of life of our people, their social and economic conditions through the provision of universal access to electricity for all by the year 2030,” said Nored’s Executive Manager for Corporate Affairs Toivo Shovaleka who read a statement on behalf of the CEO of Nored Fillemon Nakashole.
“As a development partner, Nored remains fully committed to engaging and cooperating with all our stakeholders on any developmental related matters to the benefit of all humankinds as well as to propel and grow our country to a greater height,” he stated.
The objective of the conference was to gather representatives from the private sector, financial institutions, and government to discuss financial solutions to unlock private investment in electricity infrastructure within Nored’s area of operation and the potential this will have on catalysing the country’s economic development.
Nored invested in a number of electrification projects across its area of operation and so far a total number of more 102 188,000 customers has electricity in their houses.
“In addition, in 2015, Nored, as part of its corporate investment programme, has approved a N$10 million annual budget allocation to be invested in electrification projects across its area of operations. Thus far, Nored has electrified many peri-urban, rural communities and growth points, thousands of people at these points now have access to electricity,” he said.
Nakashole stated under this electrification drive, Nored as a licensee and an “actor of change” for socio-economic development is committed to ensure that life without electricity is a thing of the past in its area of operation.
Last year, Nored was awarded with a PMR Africa Diamond Award in the leaders and achiever’s category for companies or institutions rated for their contribution to economic growth and development in Namibia. Nored was recognised as number one outstanding company in development and enhancing infrastructure in Namibia in 2018.
“In spite of the achievement, Nored is still faced with a challenge to invest in infrastructure development due to the vastness of its area of operation compounded by limited financial resources and high demand for electricity. The funding for Nored operations and electrification projects has been depending on the tariffs and profits accumulated over the years. This method of funding despite it being self-reliant, it is slow in that some important projects have to be postponed to allow for the availability of funds. Nored has realised that consistency in following this trend will cripple development and attainment of its mandate,” he noted.
Currently, Nored pays a monthly surcharge averaging N$1.8 million towards the respective towns and regions within its area of operations.
“However, the regions and towns are not leveraging on this opportunity to reinvest this money back into electricity infrastructure and eventually boost their socio-economic development. Therefore, financial innovation solution is required to supplement the annual N$10 million CSR electrification funding in order to enhance creation of more assets and accelerate development,” he said.
Government’s long-term national development plans, both the Vision 2030 and Harambee Prosperity Plan has identified energy as one of the key sectors that form the foundation for solid socio-political, economic growth and transformation.
“Conferences such as these are part of a collaborative effort in our mission to deepen our insight into and understanding of the importance of electricity infrastructure investment. I hope that the next two days will offer great insights, expanded knowledge and will spark beneficial conversations on the theme and topic of this conference,” he noted.