After rushing to the Public Utilities and Regulatory Commission (PURC) to demand an over 80 percent increment in electricity tariffs to enable it improve upon its services to the consuming public, which was granted, the woes of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) are still not over.
The company is demanding $700 million (¢12 trillion) from the central government to improve upon the distribution network, which is at its lowest ebb. Power supply to most parts of the country is not the best, due to the dilapidated equipment being used by the power supply company.
Electricity supply is randomly cut, and it takes sometimes several hours before the power is restored. During working hours, industries which depend on power for production are the hardest hit, while domestic consumers bear the brunt at night.
The Director in charge of Operations at the ECG, Mr. Tetteh-Okine, who disclosed the astronomical figure in an interview with The Chronicle yesterday, however, insisted that even if the money were made available today, it would not help to deal with the ongoing load shedding exercise, because his outfit only distributes power, but does not produce it.
According to the Director of Operations, about four years ago, the ECG, after a careful study of the situation, came to the conclusion it would need $1.2 billion to help improve upon its distribution network.
He, however, said the figure could go higher if a new estimate is done, because the increment in consumption of po9wer is now around 10 and 13% annually.
Tetteh-Okine further told The Chronicle that if the $700 million is made available, it would help the ECG deal with the distribution challenges currently facing the former wholly-owned state company.
When asked whether the government was aware of the $700 million they were demanding, the Director of Operations said if the former was not aware, it would not have made available $500 million out of the estimate they made for the system improvement.
Source: The Chronicle
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