ECG sits on GRIDCo, VRA service charges
The inability of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to promptly pay service charges it collects on behalf of the Ghana Grid Company Limited (GRIDCo) and the Volta River Authority (VRA), to the two companies is affecting their operations.
While GRIDCo is entitled to GH¢ 4.5 million weekly, it receives between GH¢ 1.5 million and GH¢ 2 million. The Volta River Authority (VRA), which is expected to rake in GH¢ 8 million weekly, receives GH¢ 3 million.
The failure of the ECG to fully meet its weekly financial obligations, the Finance Director of GRIDCo, Mr Kofi Okufo Dartey, told the Daily Graphic, was ‘gradually impacting negatively on our daily operations’.
‘Every week, they have a gap of GH¢ 2 million to make up. It is a big challenge for us. Our only source of income is on transmission services charge and ECG controls about 80 per cent of that income. If they don’t pay us, it affects our operations,’ he said.
Mr Dartey spoke to the Daily Graphic on the fringes of the Annual General Meeting of GRIDCo in Accra
While GRIDCo transmitted 11,587 gigawatt hours of energy in 2012 compared to 10,800 gigawatt hours in 2011, the company’s end of year after tax profit stood at GH¢ 7,039, 000 as against GH¢ 83,851,000 in 2011.
The huge difference in profit between 2011 and 2012 was because in 2011, the company did not pay tax on its income but the case was different in 2012 where it had to pay taxes.
He said the company had programmed its operations on the assumption that ECG would regularly meet its financial obligations, but in the face of the difficulties, the situation was affecting the company’s loan commitments.
‘It is affecting our loan commitments. A lot of our loans are in foreign currencies. We depend on those funds to purchase office equipment and even pay salaries, local contractors,’ he said
Mr Dartey, however, stated that the company was in discussion with the Ministry of Energy, the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission and the ECG to find the right measures to handle the situation.
Contributing to a discussion earlier, Mr Kofi Ellis, the Director, Planning and Business Development of the VRA, for his part,indicated that the issue was affecting the growth of the energy sector.
‘If we don’t resolve it, we’ll go to work and it would go into the drain. The situation in VRA is even worse than what GRIDCo is talking about.’
‘We expect weekly inflows to the tune of GH¢ 8 million, but what comes in is not good. It is an issue that the sector should take up very seriously because other independent power producers are coming in and everybody is looking at ECG as the ultimate entity to sell the power and redistribute the resource.But it appears when it is sold, the redistribution is seriously hampered,’ he added.
By Seth J. Bokpe/Daily Graphic/Ghana
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