A Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC) document, has revealed Ghana to be the country with the cheapest tariff in West Africa, contrary to the position of the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), which is waging a campaign against the proposed increase in utility tariffs by the Commission.
The document papered in 2014, and has input from GRIDCO, drew comparison between Ghana, Nigeria, Mali, Togo, Liberia, Senegal, Cote d’ Ivoire, and Burkina Fasso.
Ghana pays, 12. 65 cent per kilowatts hour, compared to 13.71 cent paid by Nigeria in 2014, 23.9 paid by Mali in 2014 per kilowatt hour
During the same year, Liberia pays 21.25, Senegal paid 18.91, Cote d’ Ivoire 14.54, while Burkina Fasso, paid 22.35 cent cents per kilowatt hour.
Interestingly, Ghana, has the widest electrify coverage, with nearly 80 percent access, while most West African countries, are hovering around 27 percent coverage.
Shockingly, while Ghana has made electricity available to both the poor and the rich at the same rate, in the low covered countries, power is only made available to the rich who have the capacity to pay.
The PURC, has for some months now, been embarking on a nationwide exercise to engage consumers on the proposed tariff increases.
The Herald’s information is that, since last year, there has not been an increment in the tariffs, especially electricity.
But ACEP claims that, the move to increase tariff, is simply a case of power producers passing on their inefficiencies to the consumer.
Executive Director of ACEP, Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam, recently told Accra-based Joy FM that, Ghanaian consumers, could not be asked to pay more, given that the current tariffs are higher than the sub-Saharan average.
Mr. Amin Adam, who is described as an energy expert, indicated that, Ghana’s tariff was much higher, than the Sub-Saharan average for the generation tariff at 4 cents per kilowatt hour.
“There are naturally differences in the cost structure because the generation mix for each country is different but the disparity is too high”.
“It is problematic because it is not cost-effective and this may be as a result of the level of the technical efficiency of the kind of generating plants that we have.
“The power is not available so if you have an installed capacity but only 70 percent of it is available, and you plan your financial sustainability on your installed power, then of course you’re going to ask for higher tariffs with lower availability of power to achieve the same level of financial sustainability and that is robbery.”
PURC sources, accused Mohammed Amin of misleading the public with his claim that, Ghana has the highest tariff in the sub-region.
The PURC source expected a media outlet like Joy FM, to have strong research team for cross checking the information from the Executive Director of ACEP.