ECG debt-collection exercise laudable
In March this year, the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) announced its intention to embark on an exercise to collect debt owed it by its customers.
Subsequently, the company earmarked a one-month period, March 20-April 20, 2023, to undertake the exercise.
Yesterday, the ECG held a presser on its achievements and challenges.
The target of the exercise was to collect GHc5.7-billion, according to the information picked but could get GHc3.1 billion and that the company was initiating moves to collect the difference.
However, there are challenges, including the difficulty in locating about 200 businesses owing GHc780 million and tracing postpaid customers owing GHc 750 million because their facilities have been demolished as a result of either natural disasters or accidents.
We wish to commend the ECG management for not treating customer indebtedness as one of those things but taking steps to retrieve those moneys.
We also commend them for being discontent with achievement so far and as such pressing further in the hope of retrieving more of the moneys owed the company.
For instance, it says it is contacting the Register of Companies and the Receiver of bankrupt entities to identify assets that can be used to offset their debts.
Besides, the company has earmarked the last week of every month henceforth as a revenue mobilisation period.
No doubt, the exercise has been beneficial in many ways and one of them which has caught our attention is the detection of more than 300,000 illegal connections.
Illegal connections deprive ECG of revenue which it can otherwise use to, among other expenses, improve services to customers.
Also, the company’s “Know Your Customer’ initiative meantto take stock of its customers to help build an improved database is a laudable move.
We sympathise with the ECG in relation to the challenges it is facing now in retrieving its debts and hope that the initiatives adopted would yield good results.
We look forward to learning that other public institutions owed by their customers have adopted the relevant measures to retrieve the moneys.
While we have commended ECG for its efforts so far, we wish to say it has taken it too long to go the path it is walking now.
Until the debt-collection exercise took off in March, did the ECG have field workers who checked illegal connections, for example?
Stories of illegal connections in the country are age-old and the acts do not affect only the power provider but also its counterparts like the Northern Electricity Company and Ghana Water Company.
What do the field workers of ECG do and what reports do they bring to their employer?
We think the ECG management had slept on the job for some time and now that they have woken up from their slumber, they must prove their mettle.
They should not only think of the salaries and other benefits accruing from the company to them but also and more importantly its survival for it to continue to serve posterity with employment and its services.
We also want to appeal that they should always target improved services, to satisfy particularly loyal customers, both domestic and commercial.