Electricity bills Resist President's directed tariff increase - AFAG

The suggestion came on the back of President John Mahama’s statement that Ghanaians should pay more utility tariffs if they want reliable power supply.

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Pressure group, Alliance For Accountable Governance (AFAG) is asking Ghanaians to resist any form of increase in tariff by the Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC) on utility services.

READ MORE: Utility companies must justify previous tariff increments - TUC

The suggestion came on the back of President John Mahama’s statement that Ghanaians should pay more utility tariffs if they want reliable power supply.

President Mahama speaking on Garden City Radio in Kumasi said that the country is shifting from hydro energy to thermal energy which is more expensive to produce hence the need to pay more for power.

“If we genuinely want reliable, sustainable power then the price will have to go up…that is the reality…if we don’t want any more dumsor then we will have to pay more,” the President said.

President John Dramani Mahama has backed calls for increase in utility tariffs if Ghanaians want reliable power supply. play

President John Dramani Mahama has backed calls for increase in utility tariffs if Ghanaians want reliable power supply.

 

READ MORE: > Flagstaff House must pay electricity bills - Kofi Kapito

Reacting to this in a press release, AFAG stated that government and the PURC cited the same reason sometime ago; however, there was no improvement in services provided.

"Last year, utility fees were increased over 80% with a paltry 10% increase in salaries this year. In spite of the high prices of goods and services currently crippling consumption, on the 1st of July 2015, the PURC reviewed Electricity and Water tariffs with an increase of 51.73 % for Electricity and 15% for Water. The explanation given was the same old refrain; that consumers should pay more in order to improve the quality of services delivered. However, the services of both electricity and water got worst off," the statement said.

READ MORE: We won't pay more tariff - TUC

According to the group, the service rendered to Ghanaians by Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) are unsatisfactory and therefore does not warrant any increament.

Below is the full statement:

It is with great pain that the Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG) speak to you today about the effect of a poor government economic management on the sorry state of utility provision in Ghana. This hopeless situation has been compounded by the presence of an insensitive, a very corrupt and directionless Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC).

Fellow Ghanaians, considering the mandate of the PURC to build a credible and sustainable utility regulatory regime that protects stakeholders’ interest. It is clear that the PURC is least interested in protecting the public with respect to the quality of utility services, and pricing. Indeed the PURC has lost focus on its core mandate and merely reduced to an oppressive tool for increasing utility tariff. This development tends to benefit service suppliers and government but without value for money to consumers. PURC is now Government Utility Regulatory Commission. There is no public value to PURC.

Last year, utility fees were increased over 80% with a paltry 10% increase in salaries this year. In spite of the high prices of goods and services currently crippling consumption, on the 1st of July 2015, the PURC reviewed Electricity and Water tariffs with an increase of 51.73 % for Electricity and 15% for Water. The explanation given was the same old refrain; that consumers should pay more in order to improve the quality of services delivered. However, the services of both electricity and water got worst off. Interestingly, barely 3 months after the July increase, the Ghana Water company Limited (GWCL) is seeking another 124% increment while the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), on the other hand is seeking a101% increase. This is complete rip-off and sheer economic enslavement sponsored by an overtly corrupt, inept and a broke government. In effect Ghanaians are been levied to pay for the $170 million dollars owed Wapco and N-gas.

Fellow countrymen, why should the public continue to pay for the gross misapplication and misuse of state resources by John Mahama's led NDC government???? Mr. President stop sleeping on the job!!

AFAG maintains that the unsatisfactory service delivery by ECG and GWCL does not warrant a single percentage increment until Ghanaians get relatively constant supply of electricity and water. Ghanaians are gradually been pushed into squalor and this is dangerous to the peace of this country.

RESOLUTION

Fellow countrymen we must rise up and resist any form of increase in tariff by the PURC on utility services. Something is certainly not right. Eventually and particularly under this regime, Ghanaians are being made to believe that poverty is a norm. Households in Ghana are suffering from economic distress. Things are falling apart.

The TUC is toothless and probably compromised. Ghanaian workers have no hope. Certainly, we will meet any tariff increase with a mass action. It makes no sense. President John Mahama made a special request for this Tariff increase. It is just to pay up a government's debt intentionally caused by corruption.

Signed:

Davis Opoku Ansah                          

Wesley Owusu                                 

James Appeitu Ankrah                     

Dr. Nana Ayew Afriye                        

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