Prior to its disbandment to set up RECO/RWASCO, former Electrogaz, had over the years accumulated arrears to the tune of Rwf, 6.24bn, accrued from mainly its non-paying clients.
The utility parastatal responsible for electricity and water respectively was recently split into two to form the Rwanda Energy Corporation (RECO) and Rwanda Water Supply Company (RWASCO).
The amount which is inclusive of unsettled bills and accrued penalties was inherited by Electrogaz with some amount dating back since its inception, according to officials.
During an interview yesterday, the utility’s Acting Commercial Director, Lucien Ruterana said; “a portion of the arrears can not be recovered and we (management) are planning to write them off.”
Unrecoverable and doubtful debts are written off from the balance sheet of a company to reflect its true financial position.
He said the 1994 genocide did not help matters as it left some consumers dead and their property destroyed.
Ruterana however added that currently, the compliance rate is averaging between 95 per cent for large consumers and 80 per cent for small consumers.
He attributed the improvement to innovations like the inception of prepaid system in electricity since 1997.
He also revealed that in a month’s time, the utility body will introduce a prepayment system for water consumers.
“We are working with mobile telephony companies on a method that can allow our clients to convert airtime into utility credit,” he added.
Meanwhile, government with help from its development partners has embarked on a four year programme to extend electricity and water to more Rwandans.
The programme which is ongoing is estimated to cost Rwf, 148.2bn and is expected to extend electricity to all schools located in at least five kilometers from electricity lines.