MPs want Sh2.5bn diverted to gas for schools project

A cooking gas tank at Alliance High School on March 8, 2021.

A cooking gas tank at Alliance High School on March 8, 2021. President Ruto wants all public boarding schools to switch to gas.  

Photo credit: File

A parliamentary committee wants two laws amended to allocate Sh2.5 billion annually to implement a presidential directive to have all public schools switch to using cooking gas.

The Energy Committee said the Energy Act, 2019 and the Miscellaneous Fees and Levies Act, 2016 should be amended so that funding for the cooking gas project in 5,000 boarding schools can be done through the conversion of the Anti-Adulteration Levy, which is levied at Sh18 per litre of kerosene.

The committee told the Budget and Appropriations committee (BAC) that the National Treasury has not actualised the conversion of the levy into an appropriation-in-aid to the Ministry of Energy.

“There is need to review the existing legal provisions in the Energy Act, 2019 and the Miscellaneous Fees and Levies Act, 2016 to align them with the current needs of the petroleum sub-sector,” said Victor Musyoka, who chairs the Energy committee. He appeared before BAC to present the committee’s report on the consideration of the budgets for the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy for the 2023/24 financial year.

“Clean cooking gas for boarding schools, if implemented in a sustainable manner, would contribute immensely to the green energy economy and positive environmental management,” Mr Musyoka said.

The Energy committee said that amendments to the two Acts will secure the Sh2.5 billion per annum from the Anti-Adulteration Levy, which will be used to support the initiative.

“The money to implement this clean cooking gas project is available through the Anti-Adulteration Levy. We need to amend the law to earmark this levy for the provision of clean cooking gas to boarding schools,” Mr Musyoka told BAC.

The Energy committee chairperson said the prices of diesel and kerosene were almost the same and there had been a significant drop in adulteration of the two products.

“There is no appetite for adulteration because the prices of diesel and kerosene are almost the same. We need to use this money to provide affordable cylinders,” Mr Musyoka said.

The committee has also recommended that the Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) fast-track the construction of a 30,000 metric tonne common user LPG storage and handling facility in Mombasa. He said completion of the facility by December 31 will help to improve the affordability of LPG for domestic cooking by increasing competition.

Further, the committee also recommends an additional allocation for the cooking gas for public boarding schools project.

“In addition, the committee requests the Budget and Appropriations Committee to consider the following budgetary requirements for the funding of key priority projects, including an additional allocation of Sh500 million for the Clean Cooking Gas for Public Boarding Schools project,” said Mr Musyoka.

The committee is also seeking additional funding of Sh200 million for the street lighting project, Sh500 million for the electrification of public institutions and Sh500 million for the installation of transformers in constituencies.