Ministry reverses court decision to charge EEU for infrastructure
The Ministry of finance refuted attempts to charge the Ethiopian Electric Utility (EEU) for the infrastructure installed on lands that are administered by Oromia and Amhara regional states. The Ministry lately wrote letters to the regional states, reversing court cases filed by the regions.
The two regional states requested the EEU to pay fees for the poles and other infrastructures installed in their respective regions, including calculations dating back in time. But after the EEU refused to pay, the regional states filed lawsuits taking the matter to court.
The courts allowed regional states to take a certain amount of money from EEU’s accounts, according to officials that spoke on conditions of anonymity.
“The land where our poles erected is calculated. The distance covered by our cables is also included in the calculation. It is a very wrong move that we have never seen before,” said the official.
The problem was severe especially in towns like Burayu, according to one official familiar with the case.
However, following EEU’s appeal to the Ministry of Finance; the Ministry issued the letters to addressing the regional states.
The EEU, a state owned enterprise that purchases power from the EEP and distribute it to households and corporate clients, has close to 21,000 kilometers of distribution lines.
But since the infrastructure is not considered as a private investment, it cannot consider the land for lease, according to an expert close to the issue.
“The problem is part of the new power restructuring between federal and regional states. The EEU is a federal institution but since the past three years, it is decentralizing to regional offices. This is giving regional states opportunity to try to introduce their respective regulatory measures,” said the expert.
The Reporter’s efforts to reach officials of the two regional states until press time bore no fruit.