Security has been stepped up in the Yilo Krobo area in the Eastern Region to forestall any unexpected challenge to the staff of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), in replacing all post-paid meters with prepaid meters.
This is to implement the decision arrived at by a tripartite committee made up of ECG, National Security and United Krobo Foundation for the ECG to install the prepaid meters.
The exercise began on Tuesday and the security agencies were to ensure there was calm in the area during the exercise.
Customers who would insist on using the post paid would be taken off the grid if they did not comply.
At a press briefing on Monday during a familiarisation tour of the company in Koforidua, the Director in Charge of Customer Services of the ECG, Mr Anokye Abebrese, said the ECG was determined to solve the long-standing issues between his outfit and the people of the Krobo area.
He stated that several stakeholder consultations have been done with them and hoped that residents in the area would comply amicably.
He revealed that a tripartite committee made up of ECG, National Security and United Krobo Foundation met and it was agreed that ECG should install the prepaid meters.
Mr Anokye Abebreseh stressed that ECG had scrapped all arrears of customers in the Krobo area from the period between 2014 and 2017, but arrears accrued in 2018 to 2022 must be paid by customers within five years.
He, however, noted that debt owed would not be transferred to the prepaid meters yet to be installed.
The Director of Customer Services of ECG also hinted that his outfit had started auditing all ECG Meters and had given a moratorium to enable customers with issues regarding meters to report to the ECG for rectification.
“Customers on post paid meters who do not receive bills, customers with prepaid meters but do not pay electricity bill, those tempering with their meters or engaged in any electrical illegality and those with prepaid meters but do not buy electricity credits are all to report to our offices for rectification,” he added.
He said over the years, the main challenge of the ECG that had been an albatross on their neck was power theft which had significantly contributed to commercial losses.
He said in order to reduce the theft, the ECG for the first time had decided to clean up its system of any electrical illegality to enable it improve on revenue generation.
Mr Abebrese called on customers to comply, adding that failure to do so would amount to a criminal offence, and offenders would be dully punished.
“We will deal with offenders in accordance to law and will publish them in the dailies hence let us cooperate with ECG for a successful exercise to ensure an improved service delivery for the satisfaction of our customers,” he stated.
The Municipal Chief Executive of the Area, Mr Eric Tetteh, called on all to comply with the ECG.
The installation of prepaid meters comes after years of disagreements between Krobo residents and ECG over the installation of the meters.
The situation escalated into series of misunderstandings, riots and attacks which led to a clash between residents of Somanya and the police.
The ECG office had since been shut down last year as residents vowed to resist the installation of prepaid meters, and called on ECG to write off debts owed by customers in Krobo land from 2018 to 2021.
FROM AMA TEKYIWAA AMPADU AGYEMAN, KOFORIDUA