Power supply to the Kumasi Polytechnic has been disconnected by the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), plunging the institution into total darkness and disrupting the pursuit of academic programmes.
The Kumasi Polytechnic is said to be indebted to the ECG close to GH˘3 million, being cost of power the institution has consumed since January, this year.
The ECG has embarked on an exercise to retrieve all debt owed it by customers, particularly those in the high debtors category.
The Ashanti Regional Public Relations Officer of ECG, Mr Erasmus Kyere Baidoo, told the Daily Graphic that earlier this year, the Ministry of Finance wrote letters to all ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to budget for their power consumption as it would no longer bear that responsibility.
As a result, he said, the ECG started billing all those MDAs individually, since they were supposed to pay the bills.
According to him, the ECG began an exercise to retrieve all debts owed it by MDAs and institutions such as the Kumasi Polytechnic which had huge outstanding bills to settle.
In spite of the explanation given by the ECG, the authorities of the polytechnic suspect that the power company is out to sabotage the activities of the institution, since it is the only educational institution that has been affected by the disconnection exercise.
The Public Relations Officer of the Kumasi Polytechnic, Mr Robert Kyei Gyau, said although the institution was aware of the directive from the government asking MMDAs to pay their own electricity bills "we were made to understand that educational and health facilities were exempted".
He explained that it was based on that explanation that students were not charged for using electricity as part of their fees.
He said all electricity bills consumed by tertiary institutions in the country had always been forwarded to the National Council for Tertiary Education (NTCE) that usually settled them with the government.
He admitted that the ECG had been sending them bills since January, this year, but explained that per the understanding of the exemption, "we have made it clear to them that we were not part of those expected to bear their own cost of electricity consumption".
"We are now at a lost as to why only K-Poly was targeted in this exercise," Mr Gyau wondered.
Source: Daily Graphic
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