Enough! Cut Ghanaians some slack – K.T Hammond to gov’t

Government has said that institutions that were dependent on it to pay their bills, should now pay their own bills.

K. T Hammond says utility tariffs increment is scandalous

The minority spokesperson on energy, Kobina Tahir Hammond is asking why the Mahama-led government cannot bear the cost of the utility tariff increment for the ordinary Ghanaian.

His statement came on the back of a proposal by the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) to increase tariffs by one hundred percent.

The constant depreciation of the cedi, according to ECG, is the main reason they are asking for a 100% increment in tariffs.

Hon. K. T Hammond while speaking on the issue on Citi FM blamed the situation on mismanagement.

According to him, the debt owed the companies is alarming and government is doing the citizenry a great disservice by refusing to inject money into the activities of these service providers to sustain them.

“ECG is asking for 100% increment but we know that the company is owed 1.2 billion cedis. VRA is owed 1.3 billion cedis by the system. All of us owe… Government is not paying ECG. The government’s indebtedness from the 1.2 billion is almost 60%. The figures are outstanding and you talk about increase of tariffs? What is the sense in that?” he quizzed.

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.

But Hon. Hammond on stated that government out of the abundant resources is expected to help instead of “squeezing” the poor Ghanaian.

“It’s not the issue of ‘government doesn’t have money. We know what is happening to the money in the country. A government is not put in place to do the sort of thing that has happened. The reckless dissipation our resources have been put, a government is not elected on that ticket. If we had put our money and resources into good use, we wouldn’t have this situation,” he said.

“We’ve had enough of asking Ghanaians to pay up. It is for the government to make sure our resources are managed such that there is something in the pot to, at least, make up for the difference. Why can’t this government absorb anything for poor people?” K. T Hammond queried.

Government has said that institutions that were dependent on it to pay their bills, should now pay their own bills. The inability of some institutions, including schools, to settle their debt has led to ECG cutting them off the national power grid.

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