The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has given strong indication that it will soon be compelled to cut off power supply to all street lights nationwide if government fails to pay its debt owed the company.
According to the company, government owes it a total of Ghc55,498,573.10 as street light bill for the year 2012 alone which government must pay since it is affecting the company’s revenue.
Explaining the debt to the Daily Heritage in Koforidua after a media interaction with the Company, William Boateng, Public Relations Officer of ECG said the public lighting levy of 0.001p per unit that customers are charged as street light levy only amounted to Ghc23, 214.14 for the year under review, which when deducted from the actual total bill of power consumed by street lights in ECG operational areas, there was a revenue shortfall of Ghc5,498,573.10 which government must pay.
He said the bill forms part of the Clearing House System of which bulk bills owed by government are paid. He, however, said the company is ready to negotiate with government on a payment plan.
Mr. Boateng said ECG welcomes government’s directive to fix pre-paid meters for public institutions and buildings, adding that, the move would help ensure prompt payment of bills to improve the revenue generation of the company.
He said the company has completed 90% implementation of the government’s directive of fixing prepaid meters on government institutions.
On the recent government’s 25% subsidy on electricity tariffs, the company said it reprogrammed its system on November 18, 2013 to apply the government’s subsidy on utility tariffs, which reduced the 78.9 percent increase in tariffs for consumers.
According to the ECG, the subsidy applicable to the month of October consumption has been refunded as units to customers in full, at the first purchase of units after Nov.18, 2013, adding that, all subsequent purchases of units would also include the 25% subsidy.
The Eastern Regional Manager of ECG, Abraham Anokye -Abebrese expressed worry over the increasing copper conductor theft being recorded in the region by the company.
He explained the nefarious activities cuts across the length and breadth of all ECG operational areas and aside the huge cost in replacing them, it also impedes the company’s quest to provide quality and uninterrupted services to customers.
He, therefore, appealed to communities to be vigilant and collaborate with the company and security agencies to apprehend the perpetrators.
Mr. Abebrese also said the company is worried about continuous demand for compensation by landowners whose land has been encroached as a result of power extension.
He enumerated some major projects the Eastern regional office is undertaking to boost quality of power supply.
Among these projects are the construction of two primary sub-stations in Koforidua to serve the New Juaben Metropolis and surrounding towns; construction of 33kv Switch station at Bunso Junction and Suhum, with a Primary Sub-station being constructed at Asamankese, plus the renovation of Akwatia Bulk Supply point.