From left: Dr Ishmael Ackah, Mohammed Amin Adam and Benjamin Boakye
Consumers who would be paying an amount of GH¢1 billion annually in three to four years to settle debts accumulated over the years in the country’s power sector.
Mohammed Amin Adam, Executive Director of ACEP, who disclosed this recently at a press conference in Accra, said “Apart from paying high electricity tariffs, it is unfair for consumers to be asked to also pay debts accumulated from the inefficiencies of Volta River Authority (VRA) and Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), as well as government’s neglect of its responsibility to the utilities through petroleum levies.”
He continued: “We also know that the balance sheets of the utilities are not good due to a number of factors, the central factor being the huge indebtedness of the utilities. In spite of this dilemma, it is our considered opinion that this levy will provide sustainable resources for addressing the energy sector investment challenges and thereby help end the crises we have in our power sector.”
In 2015, he said government, under the Ghana Millennium Challenge Compact II, confirmed the payment of its debts to ECG over a period but refused to make provision for the payments in the 2016 Budget.
“Without providing for these payments in the 2016 Budget, we are not surprised that government is now considering repayment of the debt through this new levy.”
He urged government to audit and publish the true state of the debts of the utilities, the legislative instrument providing a sunset clause to determine the exact period over which the debts would be paid and also abolish the levy as soon as the debt is completely paid so that it does not become like the unending TOR Debt Recovery Levy.
Dr Adam therefore cautioned government to ensure that the revenue to be generated from the Power Generation & Infrastructure Support Levy on Petroleum Products would be used to address the crisis.
By Nii Ogbamey Tetteh