Mahama must halt 'evil, reckless' utility hikes – NPP



General News of Monday, 7 December 2015

Source: Tv3network.com

Blay Freddie FreshFreddie Blay – NPP first Vice-Chairman

The New Patriotic Party has asked government to immediately halt the new electricity and water prices announced Monday, describing it as “sheer wickedness”.

Water saw a 67.2 per cent increment while electricity was pegged at 59.2 per cent; a drastic cut from the figures proposed by the service providers earlier in the year. The new prices take effect from December 14.

But the NPP in a statement issued on Monday evening and signed by its acting Chairman, Freddy Blay, condemned the government over the hikes and accused it for being “insensitive, uncaring and reckless”.

It has warned should the government fail to intervene and halt the implementation, it will on behalf of Ghanaians, explore all legitimate options to stop the charging of the new tariffs.

“We wish to issue a responsible and necessary caution that we would, on behalf of the suffering masses of Ghana, take any legitimate action possible to stop these evil rates of increase in the cost of electricity and water from being visited on the people and businesses in Ghana. It should not happen. We call on the Government to immediately halt the increases in electricity and water bills, review it and come with a plan that makes sense,” the party warned

Read the full statement below.

THE PRESIDENT MUST HALT THIS WICKED, INSENSITIVE CHRISTMAS GIFT TO GHANAIANS

The John Mahama-led NDC Government has, through the PURC, presented the long-suffering people of Ghana with yet another wicked and insensitive present just when Ghanaians are bracing themselves for probably the worst Christmas in a generation: a more than 60% increase in the price of electricity and water.

This is sheer wickedness! It is evil, uncaring, reckless and absolutely unacceptable. It is the highest level of insensitivity ever witnessed by Ghanaians under the Fourth Republic, and certainly just before Christmas and in a year that Ghanaians have known nothing but untold sufferings and hardships.

After the several failed promises to fix DUMSOR, and astronomical increases in tariffs, including a 52% increase in electricity tariffs barely five months ago in July, the NDC government has now slapped another 59.2% and 67.2% hikes on electricity and water tariffs respectively. It means that, for a household that spent about GHS100.00 a month on utilities, your bill is now up over GHS160.00.

This will be about the eleventh increase in electricity tariffs and the ninth in water tariffs since March 2012. And, at every hike, we are told the same lie to pay more to receive reliable and efficient supply of water or power. This is insulting, annoying and simply a terrible way to treat your own people.

The people should not be made to pay more for receiving less of any amenity. The people simply cannot afford it and must not be forced to pay for something that they cannot afford. We should not be made to pay for this.

Cost of living is high, cost of production is high, businesses are collapsing, people are losing their jobs, the rate of inflation is running away leaving the value of incomes lower and lower behind. The people of Ghana are dying from economic and social hardships that were easily avoidable if Ghana had competent management of the economy by a government of integrity.

Ghanaians can no longer be forced to suffer more for the incompetence and corruption of this John Mahama-led government. The NPP is saying NO to this habit of the NDC government to continue passing on the cost of badly running the economy to the suffering people and businesses in Ghana. We want to send this caution to the Government that it should pause, listen and put a complete hold on this wicked 60% or so increases in the cost of utilities. It should not go ahead with it because it is not affordable.

We wish to issue a responsible and necessary caution that we would, on behalf of the suffering masses of Ghana, take any legitimate action possible to stop these evil rates of increase in the cost of electricity and water from being visited on the people and businesses in Ghana. It should not happen. Ghanaians deserve to know that this Government is attempting to unduly burden them also with the cost of the recent misguided acquisition of the power barges at several times what it would have cost to fuel existing power generating plants.

For instance, we have information that Government abruptly aborted the competitive tender at the GNPC for the supply of fuel for the Karpower Barge. We are also informed that even though in the competitive bidding process, some other companies offered as low as $2 million for the supply of fuel, another company charging over $6 million more for the same volume of fuel ended up being rather the one awarded the contract through inexplicable sole sourcing. Is this what the people are now being asked to pay for?

We call on the Government to immediately halt the increases in electricity and water bills, review it and come with a plan that makes sense. We also demand that Government immediately stops all the corruption-induced procurements in the energy sector that has only short-term benefits but places huge, long-term costs on an already fragile economy.

Ghanaians have suffered enough. It must end.

…Signed…

Freddy Blay, Ag National Chairman, NPP

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