Minister Msaka tells MERA to bite energy players offering low quality services

Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining, Bright Msaka has asked Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA) to be active and take serious actions against energy players who offer low quality services.

Msaka: MERA should grow teeth to bite

Msaka made an appeal in Lilongwe during a ground breaking ceremony for the construction of a six stalls MERA office complex, at the Lilongwe’s city Centre.

Msaka said MERA is mandated by the country’s constitution to regulate, stimulate facilitate and promote the energy sector.

He however said in instances where stakeholders are not performing to the satisfaction of Malawians, the regulatory body must come in and ensure there is change in the provision of services.

“When energy providers are not performing as mandated, MERA should not be silent but rather be heard and make things happen,” said Msaka.

Apart from issuing punishments, the minister appealed to MERA to also ensure that the country has constant power production.

Msaka said MERA must promote mix generation of energy to avoid dependency on one source of energy.

He said; “We all know that energy is one of the few catalysts for the economic development of any country. Malawi as a country needs power to accelerate industrial production, improve the agricultural systems as well as develop the mining sector among others.

“May I take this opportunity to advise MERA to revisit its tariffs and come up with those that will woo investors and at the same time speed up agreements between ESCOM and independent power producers in order for the country to have adequate power.”

Commenting on the office complex, Msaka said once the building is completed, MERA will save huge sums on rentals while at the same time generate some income as the office complex will have some space to let.

“It is pleasing to see a dream that was hatched in 2010 coming to fruition, we expect MERA staff to perform better as they will have enough space,” he said.

MERA Board Chairperson, Rev. Dr Joseph Bvumbwe assured Malawians of the body’s commitment to have an improved energy sector.

Rev. Dr Bvumbwe said with the reforms being made in the energy sector, Malawians should expect good services from MERA as well as its stakeholders.

“We promise to deliver to the satisfaction of Malawians,” he said in brief.

On the building, Bvumbwe concurred with Msaka that, apart from adding beauty to the city of Lilongwe, the office complex will reduce costs incurred while at the same time be able to accommodate the growing operations of the regulatory body.

“The total cost for the complex project is Mk 7 Billion and it has been generated locally. As I speak, 75 per cent of the funds are available and, if all is to go by plan, we should have the building completed by April 2019,” the board chair said.

MERA was established in 2008 to among others regulate the energy sector for sustainable socio-economic development of the Malawi nation and the region.

 

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