Barzani acknowledges his responsibility for the electricity crisis
Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani discussed in the Ministry of Electricity in his government the issue of the electricity crisis and ways to address them, and as he emphasized that responsibility lies on him primarily as head of the government. He stressed that the only alternative solution is using the natural gas as an energy source in general in the Region.
A statement by the presidency of KRG, reported that Barzani visited the Ministry of Electricity and held a meeting attended by Vice President, Qubad Talabani with the Minister of Electricity on Monday, February 16, 2015, to discuss the problems and obstacles in the electricity sector and the current needs of Kurdistan Region in this area.
The statement said the Minister of Electricity, Abdul- Sattar Babakir spoke in detail about the problems, constraints and the needs of the electricity sector in Kurdistan, at the same time reviewing ways to address the problems.
The statement added that Barzani stressed that the problems and obstacles in the electricity sector is not the result of today and not only the problem of Minister of Electricity who has hold this position for a very short period of time, they are old problems, stressing that the responsibility lies primarily on the government and Prime Minister himself before being the responsibility of the Minister and the Ministry of Electricity.
Barzani mentioned the continuous progress in the cities and towns and provinces of Kurdistan that has increased the needs of Kurdistan of electrical power and it is natural that there would be problems and obstacles, adding that the government, the ministry and stakeholders in the region are seeking to make efforts continuously to address the problems of the sector.
Barzani announced that his government has allocat- ed an annual sum of three billion dollars to support the electricity sector, noting that there are many irregularities in the use and waste of it.
For his part, Deputy Prime Minister of KRG, Qubad Talabani praised the steps to help Peshmarga and delivery of electrical power to the forces of the majority of the areas that Peshmarga need, noting that in addition to these services, the electricity police also participated in the battles against IS terrorist organization.
The statement noted that Barzani stressed, at the conclusion of the meeting, the necessity of finding alternative solutions, in collaboration with the Ministry of Electricity and other stakeholders in Kurdistan Regional Government, explaining that the only alternative would be through utilizing the natural gas.
The Ministry of Electricity in Kurdistan Regional Government has faced a lot of criticism in recent times due to the lack of electricity and its impact on many sectors.
Following the visit, the Prime Minister addressed a number of other topics in a press conference including his recent Baghdad visit and meeting with Prime Minister Haider al Abadi regarding the budget and oil issues, the complaints and demonstrations of the government employees about delays in paying their salaries, the works of the international oil companies in Kurdistan Region, the talks about collaboration between the central and regional government for liberating Mosul as well as the efforts to release the Peshmarga hostages in custody of the Islamic State terrorists.
Deputy PM Talabani also addressed a couple issues such as the funds Baghdad is planning to send to Kurdistan for January salaries, which he said it is too little to pay the salaries. He also refuted rumors about a potential meeting of the Oil and Gas Board about reducing fuel prices in the Region.