The Minister of Energy, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, has indicated that tariff increases for the Electricity Company of Ghana is not an option for now.
Rather, he said, the company was being encouraged to cut down on its losses as well as put in the necessary mechanisms to efficiently collect monies for what it had supplied already before issues of increases are considered.
“I can assure you that we are resisting the calls for increased tariff till we sought out our losses. The more we sought out our losses, the more we can probably decide whether we have to or we must increase the tariffs. But first, if you are losing so much, how do you convince me that I should let you increase tariffs,” he emphasised.
Dr Opoku Prempeh disclosed this in Accra on Wednesday, when he took his turn at the weekly Minister’s Press Briefing organised by the Ministry of Information.
Speaking on the theme: “Keeping the lights on, keeping the nation moving,” Dr Opoku Prempeh said the losses to ECG are occasioned by the inability or unwillingness to pay.
Additionally, he said others were pure electricity theft.
To stop this, he said the ECG had re-launched its National Revenue Protection Taskforce.
He explained that the sole objective of the taskforce was to help identify power theft as well as recover debt across consumers in the country.
Dr Opoku Prempeh noted that the ECG made on the average a loss of GH₵ 3.2billion or its equivalent of $400million per annum.
He decried the situation where members of the taskforce were attacked by consumers for undertaking their legitimate duty of raking in revenues for the company, stressing that “such acts going forward will not be tolerated.”
He noted that the taskforce had since its re-launch had recovered about GH₵30million for the company.
Touching on the recent power outages, Dr Opoku Prempeh said it was as a result of a combination of factors including but not limited to repair works on transmission lines to ensure efficiency in transmission.
He said what was happening had nothing to do with generation because the country had enough generating capacity.
The Minister said the Ministry had resolved to do away with the Take or Pay policy which had saddled the energy sector with a lot of debt and now focus on Take and Pay.
He said Government was not going into increasing the generation capacity just for increasing sake but would do so when necessary and needed.
BY CLIFF EKUFUL