A Task Force consisting of representatives from GRIDCO, ECG, VRA, Energy Commission set up by the Ministry of Power, has among other things been charged to recoup various sums of money owed the Electricity Company of Ghana and also assist the Utility reinforce its debt management procedures.
The team is to focus mainly on SLTs (Special Load Tariff) customers who owe ECG a lot of money thus making it difficult for them to fulfill their financial obligations to VRA and the Independent Power Producers (IPPs) and also identify the ECG’s challenge in collecting their bills with SLTs and make recommendations.
The Task Force has so far flagged 350 customers in the Tema North area alone, out of which 20 have been visited and disconnected by the team pending arrangement for payment to ECG.
Affected customers have been given an option to pay 50% of their debt to be reconnected and pay the remainder within a period of three months.
ECG defaulters visited so far by the Task Force and disconnected include a number of steel companies and Cold Stores and owe ECG over GH¢38million. Their debts accrued between 6 months and 2 years.
The Task Force is also mandated to check the system losses and illegal connections across the country.
A Communications Officer of Ministry of Power however revealed that the Task Forces challenge so far has been the interference from some politicians, traditional leaders and people in high places who have been calling to intervene and plead for reconnection for the defaulters.
“We will like to plead with the Politicians and Chiefs who have been coming to beg for these defaulters to desist form that and rather advice these companies to pay the monies they owe to ECG and pay their monthly bills regularly and promptly to prevent recurrence of this situation”.
The Communications Officer revealed that a company which owes ECG over GH¢78,000 has been closed up with only security found at the premises on second visit.
He further said they have intelligence that the owner of another company in the Tema North area which owes ECG about GH¢310,000 is attempting to leave the country, adding that the Task Force is collaborating with security agencies to ensure neither he or any other defaulter is able to leave the country•
He mentioned some of the companies disconnected by the Task Force and the amount they owe ECG, saying the full list will be published very soon.
Some of the companies he mentioned include, Special Steel Limited which owes GH¢ 11 million,Western Steel Forgings owes GH¢ 2.5 million, Neel Steel Company Limited GH¢78,000, Haya Company Ltd GH¢ 310,000, Safo Nyame Cold Store, Miroc Food Processing Limited Phase I GH¢149,000, Miroc Food Processing Limited Phase II GH¢ 327,000 and Miroc Food Processing Limited Phase III owes ECG GH¢ 408,000.