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Gov't Threatening ECG?   
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The Public Utility Workers Union (PUWU) has accused government of threatening management of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to stop its mass disconnection exercise aimed at recovering monies owed the state power distributor by defaulting institutions.

In a bid to recover its debts, the utility service provider has embarked on a mass disconnection exercise; demanding that companies pay monies owed ECG.

Companies like the Ayensu Starch Factory have been affected. They are indebted to ECG to the tune of GH¢408,163.00.

Also disconnected from the national grid are the newly-constructed Cape Coast Sports Stadium and the Cape Coast Polytechnic. Both facilities owe ECG GH¢719,792.46 and GH¢1,017,542 respectively.

The Ministries Block in Cape Coast which owed GH¢83,267.50 was asked to pay by Thursday or be blocked from using its prepaid systems.

The Ministries Block now uses pre-paid meters after it was disconnected some months back for non-payment of bills. The building houses several state agencies in Cape Coast including the Ghana Education Service (GES), Immigration Service, Controller and Account General’s Department, Registrar General’s Department, Information Service Department, Daily Graphic, Ghanaian Times and the Ghana News Agency.

Speaking in an interview on Peace FM's morning show, ‘Kokrokoo’, Michael Adumatta Nyantakyi, Deputy General Secretary, PUWU, said so far the exercise has help ECG to collect a lot of money which was in arrears and if the political interference is out of the way, ECG will do better.

"We realized ECG as a company was going through a lot of financial challenges and it was really affecting the company. And so once in a while, we go on a mobilization exercise to collect money being owed us. This is nothing new and it is not only directed at public institutions. Government makes promises and does not fulfill it. ECG is inefficient because of government and if government is to insist that its institutions pay their debt, ECG can function efficiently without the need to sell it…

We suspect a political pressure is being mounted on management and that is why they want us to stop this exercise. The level of political interference is worrying the company and when that is out of the way the company will do well".

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Power has directed ECG to temporarily halt the disconnection of power to health, security and educational institutions.

Even though the ministry commended ECG for its effort to collect outstanding bills owed it, they believe some institutions should be temporarily exempted.

Whilst we commend ECG in that regard, we wish to bring to your attention, Government’s decision to temporarily exclude certain critical categories from pre-payment metering and the mass disconnection exercise. These include critical installations in the health, security and educational institutions,” the statement said.
Source: Peacefmonline.com

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