ECG’s action against power theft laudable

The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has announced that effective August 1, which is the coming Monday, it will commence audit of the meters of its customers as part of measures to check illegal connection and power theft that has led to loss of huge revenue.

It says the exercise follows the expiry of a more-than-one-month amnesty spanning June 7 and July 20 given customers engaged in illegal connection to report for rectification or face sanctions afterwards.

The ECG announces that out of about 116,000 reports from households, less than 14,000 were faulty meters, whereas the rest comprised illegal connections.

Interestingly, the ECG is still appealing to those yet to report any illegal connection or fault with their meters to do so within the days left to start the audit and checking of illegal connections for new meters and payment plan to settle their arrears.

It is intriguing why the ECG did not descend on the power thieves but gave them the amnesty to allow for correction of their illegality at a time the company has suffered revenue losses of more than US$100 million caused by power theft, making it to be in debt.

The Ghanaian Times commends the ECG for its innovative approach to fighting the power losses and collecting outstanding bills.

The management of the ECG have done well for not allowing the situation to overwhelm them but thought outside the box to stop the revenue losses that could have eventually collapsed the company.

This paper would not stop making reference to state enterprises that have collapsed because of the negligence and inaction of their managements the same way as it would commend managements doing their best to sustain enterprises under their care.

Besides, the paper would continue to tell the stories of and support enterprises, both public and private, which are playing the best of roles in national development.

Just on Wednesday, the Ghanaian Times published both a story and an editorial on the announcement by the Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCo) that it had been suffering a monthly loss of GH¢8.5 million in revenue to power theft and non-payment of bills.

The NEDCo story and the current and previous cases reported by the ECG show that power theft and non-payment of bills by power consumers, both humans and entities, are huge problems that need the support of the state, the media, religious organisations and the general public to fight.

This is why the Ghanaian Times would encourage the ECG to be stern with its customers who have defaulted the amnesty.

The Utility Court commencing prosecution of power thieves also should be tough.

Besides, it would be worthy for the ECG to not apply its ‘Name and Shame’ policy to deter people from only engaging  in illegal connection but also non-payment of bills over a stipulated period.

The truth is that the government cannot allow state power companies to collapse but the needful must be done and urgently so as to avert the ugly as the consequences would be dire.

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