General News of Tuesday, 24 January 2017
The Energy Minister-designate says there would be a relief for power consumers in the country if President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo assents to a tariff reduction document before him.
Boakye Agyarko says they have worked the numbers and once the President gives the green light, electricity tariffs across the country would be reduced.
The former Vice President of the Bank of New York made these remarks when he appeared before Parliament’s Appointments Committee Monday to be vetted.
Nana Akufo-Addo promised to reduce electricity tariffs in the country after there was an uproar in the country over increment in the tariff under the immediate past National Democratic Congress (NDC) government in 2016.
The Public Utility and Regulatory Commission (PURC) increased electricity tariff by 59.2 percent for residential consumers in the country on December 14, 2015. This was slashed to 45 percent after a “difficult and tortuous” round of negotiation with Labour.
Available documents reveal tariff for commercial users in Ghana is $0.32 per kilowatt hour while domestic users pay $19.28 cents per kilowatt hour.
This is different from what neighbouring Cote d’Ivoire charges from commercial users which is $0.13 cents per kilowatt hour and $9 cents per kilowatt hour from domestic users.
It was established that about 62 percent of complaints received by the PURC in the first quarter of 2016 were on issues of overbilling as compared to 18 percent in 2015.
Customer Billing Data shows clearly that the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has challenges with migrating customer information from the old Billing System to the new Billing System(Software).
This led to a directive by PURC to the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to suspend the use of troublesome software across the country.
Reacting to complaints of Ghanaians, the President who was the Presidential Candidate of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the 2016 election promised to drop tariffs if given the mandate.
“I will definitely reduce electricity tariffs,” President Akufo-Addo told Ghanaians few days to the December 7, general elections.
Mr Agyarko who was the NPP Policy Advisor during the 2016 elections said they have done the necessary math to have electricity tariffs in the country dropped in the coming days.
He, however, revealed that the study has been submitted to the President to sanction it before it would be implemented.
This move when completed, he said, would bring about economic improvement in the lives of Ghanaians especially “lifeline consumers.”