Make power affordable for all – Veep to power producers

Vice President Paa Kwesi Amissah Arthur, has asked utility providers across Africa, to consider the cost of power in order not to discriminate among poor people.

According to Mr Amissah Arthur, power consumption in Africa has increased by three times in the last decade, due to the increasing demand in electricity.

He however wants utility providers to consider the needs of consumers.

Speaking at this year’s annual meeting by the Association of Power Utilities in Africa (APUA), Mr. Amissah Arthur said “customer expectations keep rising and so power utilities must appreciate that the modern economy depends on reliable power and affordable power.

Consumers have rising expectations because the standards have increased and our dependence on power is increasing and so we must consider this.”

Some Ghanaians have recently complained about the high cost of electricity tariffs in the country, with some demonstrating against the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to reduce the tariffs.

But the ECG has only done what it calls a realignment of their billing system to bring some relief to consumers. The company has largely blamed the high cost of power on higher taxes introduced by government.

In his address, Vice President Amissah Arthur bemoaned the current hikes in power consumption and said “in many of our countries, there are large segments of the population that cannot just afford to pay the electricity tariffs that you are asking for so the circumstances of your clients need to be taken into consideration in setting the tariffs.”

He continued “if you do not, electricity or power will become available only to wealthy people and not to the poor or rural residents. Such discrimination certainly restricts the development of our society.”

The 2016 annual meeting by the Association of Power Utilities in Africa (APUA) brought together Chief Executives and Managing Directors of Power Utilities in charge of generation, transmission and distribution of power in Africa.

Some of the countries present were Algeria, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, Liberia, Madagascar, Niger, Central African Republic, Congo, Senegal and Togo.

By: Farida Shaibu/