Treasury allocates additional Sh20b to fuel access to cheap energy
National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani (pictured) has injected Sh91.5 billion into the energy sector for the 2022/23 financial year as the government accelerates efforts towards the production of reliable and affordable energy by the end of 2022.
This is a 21 per cent increase (Ksh20b) compared to the Sh71.9 set in the current 2021/22 budget, excluding the provisions set aside under the big four initiatives. Out of the Sh91.5 billion, Sh62.9 billion will cater for the transmission and distribution of power; Sh18.5 billion for the development of geothermal energy; Sh 9.3 billion for electrification of public facilities and Sh2 billion for the development of nuclear energy as well as exploration and mining of coal.
Yatani said the huge spending in the energy sector was informed by the need to scale up the development of critical infrastructures to support post-lockdown economic recovery. “This will ease movements of people and goods, reduce the cost of doing business, enhance access to social amenities and promote competitiveness,” he said in the 2022/23 financial statement.
The country’s power generation has tripled to the current 3,900MW from 1300 megawatts in 2013 at the back of increased economic activities and last mile connectivity projects which increase Kenya Power customers to 8.3 million by the end of June 2021.
Electricity and petroleum are key inputs in manufacturing and determinant of the rate of inflation, and the budget increment signals efforts to cool public uproar over the bulging cost of living.
Year-on-year surge in the cost of energy, basic food commodities and transport significantly eat up a bigger share of the home budget, especially among low-income households.