The Convention People’s Party (CPP) is asking government to fulfil its financial obligations to the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and other utility service providers before the recent tariff increases will be accepted.
Gov't must pay debt owed ECG - CPP
The Convention People’s Party (CPP) has called on government to pay debts owed the Electricity Company of Ghana.
These were contained in a press released signed by the CPP’s Director of Communications, Nii Armah Akomfrah.
According to the statement, “the only condition for a public acceptance of the proposed 100 % increase in electricity tariff is the payment of debts owed to the ECG by the government.”
The statement added that government, “has set a bad example and until it corrects this lapse in the conduct of public affairs, loses any moral right to call on citizens to pay a 100% increase in tariffs. The alternative according to the Party is for citizens to follow the example of government and refuse payment of the increments until the government sets a worthy example in the performance of her financial obligations to public institutions.”
“The divestiture of sovereign Ghanaian assets such as the ECG to a foreign company will not be necessary or required when the government pays its debts to them. The Party therefore called for an abrogation of concessions of ECG and other utilities’ assets to foreign companies, because the earnings of the foreign companies on these assets deprives the nation of development funds, especially when the concessions include the repatriation of profit,” the statement said.
READ MORE: > PURC to consult stakeholders over tariff review
The CPP has called on the government to “take notice and adopt the requisite policy measures against the further impoverishment of Africans through the grabbing of productive assets in African countries.”
The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) are lobbying for a one hundred percent increment in tariffs.
In the proposals from the service providers which were made during a public forum organised by the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) in Kumasi on Tuesday, the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) wants an increase from GH¢1.70 per cubic metre to GH¢4 while the ECG wants the present tariff of 16 pesewas per unit to be increased to 35 pesewas.
Volta River Authority (VRA) is demanding an increase from 15 pesewas to 30 pesewas per unit while GRIDCo wants an increment from 4 pesewas per unit of transmission to 5 pesewas.
READ MORE: > ECG cuts power to the National Theatre over debt
The Convention People’s Party in reaction said, “VRA claims it needs to charge that much due to the rising costs of imported fuel. ECG based the need for an increment on foreign exchange costs. GWCL and GRIDCo claim inadequate operating funds for continuous provision of their services.
All this after a unilateral increase in prices on 1 July 2015, and in a state of economic austerity. The CPP points out that the reasons proffered by the utility companies should be laid at the door of the ruling NDC who have failed woefully to serve the interests of Ghanaians, and only do the bidding of their IMF handlers. Furthermore, according to the Party, these tariff hikes are never matched by an increase in the efficient delivery of these utility services
Another key problem the CPP highlighted is the deliberate balkanisation of our utility companies, leading to unnecessary duplication, waste and buck passing. This Kafkaesque farce is led by and presided over by yet another government agency, the PURC. The latter in its ‘supervisory role’ undertakes the following processes to ‘ensure transparency and fairness':
Where and when, in all this musical chairs, is the interest of the hard pressed Ghanaian citizen upheld?”
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