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Tariff Hike Is To Prepare ECG For Privatization – ISODEC   
 
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02-Sep-2015  
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The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) is using the ongoing public consultation as a smokescreen to facilitate the privatization of the utility service provider, Dr. Steve Manteaw has claimed.

The ECG is asking for over 100 percent increment in electricity tariff. This will see a jump from 44 pesewas to 1 cedi per unit.
Consumers in the Eastern and Ashanti regions where the consultations have so far been held have rejected the proposal.

Dr. Manteaw, who is the Campaign Coordinator of Integrated Social Development Center (ISODEC), told Joy News the call for increment should be expected suggesting that it is being influenced by a private sector interest.

“I have a reason to suspect that this whole consultation thing is just a façade, trying to unnecessary hike electricity tariff to prepare ECG for privatization,” he said.

He predicted that consumers should expect upward traffic adjustments until the rate is favourable to whoever is going to take over ECG.

Dr. Manteaw was also surprised the ECG would choose such an unfavourable moment when there is an acute power shortage to ask for tariff increment. The necessity of the proposal was questioned because consumers are currently not enjoying quality service.

At the same time the ECG is expecting about 450 megawatts of power from Turkish firm KAR-POWER this month. Power would be sold to ECG at 13 to 14 cent per kilowatt hour, which is far below the 18 cent that is costing ECG to generate power currently.

If ECG, Dr. Manteaw said is “talking about tariff increase then it smacks of mischief and therefore we need the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) to come clean again”.

He his however not surprised that the PURC which is supposed to be the referee between consumers and utility providers tends to side with the latter.

“My understanding is that PURC itself enjoys a certain percentage of whatever tariff increases they grant the electricity company, so they have self-interest there,” he alleged.

He therefore challenged the PURC to show how they have over the period monitored efficiency to ensure that utility service providers are not passing on their inefficiency to consumers to pay.
 
 
Source: Daily Graphic
 
 

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