Personnel of the Ghana Police Service, are going round the country with the national revenue mobilization taskforce of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) helping to locate and even arrest members of the public who are indebted and done illegal power connections on their properties.
Ironically, those to arrest and even prosecute are themselves on the wrong side of the law as three blocks at the police barracks at Osu in Accra have been disconnected over an illegal connection.
The blocks had been connected directly to power by the occupants without a meter, and have since been disconnected by the ECG taskforce.
The illegal connection was discovered yesterday on the company’s rounds to recover monies owed by customers.
The task force, aside from chasing people who owe ECG debts, uses the opportunity to check for illegal connections.
“Since it’s an illegal connection, we have the first right to disconnect before we deal with issues.” The manager in charge of external communications, Laila Abubakari told Citi News.
The disconnection is part of a national exercise to collect monies owed to ECG by customers and to also ascertain the condition of all meters.
“The Ghana police would have to come to ECG where a bill will be generated for them covering a period of 12 months,” she added.
She said power will be restored when they pay the surcharge amount.
“The administration block also owes, but due to security implications, we’ve spared that facility while we discuss further the amount involved. We consider the police accommodation facilities (blocks) a general facility hence the disconnection”.
Interestingly, the ECG Revenue Mobilization Taskforce was held hostage for about 30 minutes after they disconnected the Ghana Post Company over GH¢89,000 debt.
The task force was at the premises to conduct its ongoing revenue mobilization exercise on Tuesday when the staff prevented the task force from leaving the Accra main office.
The disconnection exercise is in its second week of the month-long national exercise aimed at retrieving GH¢5.7 billion on their books.
Health facilities in the Volta and Oti Regions are also said to be owing ECG an amount of GH¢8.9 million.
Since 2021, various healthcare institutions, including municipal and district hospitals, CHPS compounds, bungalows, and health directorates, have accumulated debt.
Acting General Manager of ECG in the Volta Region, Ing. Michael Buabin, confirmed the amount owed, stating that “The Ho Teaching Hospital owes the ECG GH¢1.4 million, but it paid GH¢40,000 on March 24, after several visits from ECG officials.”
Ho Municipal Hospital owes GH¢420,000, Peki Government Hospital is owing GH¢362,000, and Keta Municipal Hospital owes GH¢465,400.”
The ECG has begun a nationwide campaign to recover approximately GH¢5.7 billion from its debtors, with approximately 220 people involved.
The ECG has begun a nationwide effort to recover approximately GH¢5.7 billion from debtors, with approximately GH¢220 million owed in the Volta Region.
However, no hospitals have been disconnected by ECG, and Mr. Benjamin Obeng Antwi, ECG Regional PRO, stated that the company does not take pleasure in disconnecting customers.
The ECG is currently discussing debt settlement with health administrators, medical superintendents, and the Volta Regional Health Directorate.
Personnel occupying staff bungalows at these hospitals, according to Ing. Buabin, must pay their bills, as must hospitals that charge utilities as part of the bills given to customers.
Furthermore, revenue-generating mortuaries and administration blocks at these hospitals will be required to pay their bills.
Mr. Philip Agbezudor, the PURC Regional Manager, stated during the engagement that hospitals are not exempt from disconnection. LI 2413,37 states unequivocally that any customer who owes ECG or GWCL has 14 days to settle their arrears. Hospitals, on the other hand, have special protection due to the nature of their business. After 14 days, the utility company must work out a payment plan with the hospital and give them an extra 21 days to pay before disconnection.
According to PRO Benjamin Antwi, the ECG is urging all customers to settle their arrears so that the company can continue to operate.
“As Ing. Buabin pointed out, hospitals are sensitive facilities that need power to operate, and if ECG fails to meet its target, including their debt, it could affect the electricity supply chain, which could affect the economy through the unavailability of power” Benjamin Antwi said.