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Onek hands over to Muloni, warns on work load

By Vision Reporter

Added 9th June 2011 03:00 AM

FORMER energy minister Eng. Hillary Onek yesterday handed over office to his successor, Irene Muloni.

FORMER energy minister Eng. Hillary Onek yesterday handed over office to his successor, Irene Muloni.

By Steven Candia

FORMER energy minister Eng. Hillary Onek yesterday handed over office to his successor, Irene Muloni.

He cautioned her on the challenges and magnitude of work, which almost cost him his health.

Onek said the ministry was the engine of development and carries the aspirations of the people.

Onek, who has been moved to the internal affairs ministry, said he enjoyed his stay in the energy ministry, although he was over worked.

“It became stressful and I had even hinted to the President that I was not willing to continue here. It was affecting my health and I need my health. So now that I have moved to another ministry, I will have some rest,” he said.

Simon D’Ujanga, the state minister for energy and Peter Lokeris, the state minister for energy were also reinstated.

Onek handed over the instruments of power to Muloni which included the energy policy, the Electricity Act, the rural electrification policy, the mineral policy and the Mining Act.

Among the challenges he noted was the need to generate more power, reduction of electricity tariffs, continuation of the rural electrification project, oil production within the timeline and completion of the construction of hydro electricity power projects in the country.

Onek said President Museveni had issued a directive to reduce electricity tariffs to atleast six cents per kilo watt hour.

But this, onek said, has to be achieved alongside the National Planning Authority target of generating up to 3,800 megawatts in five years.

However, he said this was not a simple task.

“This is a huge task which calls for collaboration and the need to work fast because the expectations of Ugandans are really high,” he said.

Owing largely to high fuel prices, Onek said Uganda was paying up to 38 cents per kilowatt hour of thermal electricity, pushing up the cost of electricity and making it less affordable to many households.

He said Uganda needs to generate 2,000MW in the next five years in order to achieve the target of 3,800MW.

Onek also commented on the construction cost of the Bujagali hydro power dam, describing it as the most expensive dam project in the world.

He said such construction projects should not be allowed to happen in Uganda.

Onek said whereas the international cost of hydropower construction per mega watt was $1m, the Bujagali project was at $4m per megawatt, making it the most expensive power project in the world.

Muloni on her part called for team work and pledged to serve the ministry to the best of her ability.

Onek hands over to Muloni, warns on work load

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