Stop pricing utilities and fuel – Banks to govt

Banks in the country have advised government to stop determining the prices of essential utilities if it wants to prevent the huge debt it incurred subsidizing power and fuel over the years.

The banks advised after it formed a consortium to retrieve the about GHC2.2 billion it gave out to players in the power sector for their operations.

This amount and other financial obligation of players in the power sector (VRA, Ecg, GRIDCO, NEDCO) have resulted in a GHC4.4 billion debt.

Nonpayment of this amount still threatens the survival of 11 banks.

The banks include Ecobank, Stanchart, uniBank, Zenith Bank, GT Bank, UBA, UMB, CAL Bank, ACCESS Bank, Stanbic Bank, Fidelity Bank, First Atlantic Bank, and Ghana International Bank.

A road map has been devised through the Energy Sector Act to offset the amount in 3 to 5 years.

Government will this month transfer GHC250 million to settle part of the debts owed the 11 banks from September 2016.

The President of the Ghana Bankers Association,Alhassan Andani told Starr business government must take a cue from the current development, “the key lesson from me and the people of Ghana is that government should stay away from trying to price its essential utilities; and I hear people saying give us power at any cost; once you give us power then you can go back to the generator and say how is it truly costing you, then it becomes a private sector discursion.”

“But this whole thing of government trying to say to everybody that we will provide you things in a subsidized manner, we should never go to it”.

Source:Ghana/ Owusu Amankwaah

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