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Editorial: VRA, ECG Tariffs Increase Is Reasonable But…   
 
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19-Feb-2010  
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The Volta River Authority (VRA), the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and Ghana Grid Company (GRIDco) have all sent proposals to the Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC) for upward adjustment of tariffs paid by consumers, to enable them meet their overhead expenses.

The three companies are arguing that most of their machines had become obsolete, and the only way they can repair them, is to charge the commensurate tariffs.

In addition to the obsolete machines, government agencies and departments are said to owe them huge sums of money.

The VRA, for instance, told the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament on Tuesday, this week, that these government agencies and departments collectively, owe them a whopping GH˘250 million.

Though The Chronicle shares the concerns of these utility companies, and also thinks their demand is justifiable, a lot still needs to be done before the public would reason with them.

If the VRA alone is owed GH˘250 million, not to mention that of ECG and GRIDco, it means their revenue collection is very poor, and they need to do something about it.

GH˘250 million can easily be used to replace most of the overaged machines, but it has been locked up at the ministries and departments. To us at The Chronicle, until the VRA is able to collect this money, it will not have any justification to force the ordinary man to pay higher tariffs. As noted by Hon. Kan Dapaah, Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, “if you cannot collect, don’t sell. It is very dangerous to sell to those customers who are not paying.”

The VRA knows that it is bad business practice to sell power without collecting the money to re-invest back into the business, yet it has not shown concern about this, and keeps on selling to defaulting customers. As for the ECG, the least said about them, the better.

The wastage in the system is simply annoying, yet they have not made the needed efforts to remedy it.

The pre-paid meters, which would have helped to maximise their revenue collection, is also in short supply.

We therefore insist that if the utility companies are to justify the tariffs they are demanding, they must first do their homework, before the public will accept their plea.
 
 
Source: The Chronicle
 
 

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