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SFG rejects call for utility tariff hike   
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Ghanaians are on the verge of having another round of hefty utility tariff increases imposed on them, the Socialist Forum of Ghana (SFG) and noted kicking against the move.

The Socialist Forum of Ghana has argued that no increases in tariffs should be imposed on the already suffering public without thorough value for money analysis, a statement copied to the Ghana News Agency on Wednesday by the Forum said.

Advancing its arguments, the Forum, said the Electricity Company of Ghana had failed to collect tariffs from corporate bodies like mining companies and even government institutions.

In addition, the Forum said the Volta River Authority had also failed to repair essential plant and equipment, which accounted for the constant breakdown of transformers.

These are some of the real issues, which account for the severe outages in power supply and other problems that the utility companies face, the SFG said.

It is also a well known fact that sloppy administration practices result in payment of heavy penalties by VRA at the expense of the final consumer, it added.

From the water sector, the Forum said in spite of past increases in tariff, the Ghana Water Company Limited had not found the need to use the extra revenue accrued to replace pre-1970 equipment and machines, adding rather it spent the income on salaries and administration.

The statement noted that the situation of escalating prices was manifesting all around the country and SFG considered it inappropriate to introduce high tariffs when there was no indication that such increases were the answer to the outages and water shortages that had been occurring.

It said dealing with the corrupt and inefficiency which had enveloped the utility companies would free substantial resources for improving the quality of services to consumers.

The SFG is fully aware that the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have been pushing the Government to unreasonably increase utility tariffs as a means of ensuring that private investors in the sector can maximize their profits, it said.

It urged the Government to focus more attention on how to improve the standard of living of the people of Ghana rather than how to satisfy the greed and appetite of so called foreign investors for profit.
Source: GNA

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