The New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Bortianor-Ngleshie Amanfro, Sylvester Tetteh, has condemned the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) for demanding increments in tariffs.
The Electricity Company of Ghana is requesting a 148percent increase in utility prices while Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) also asks for a 334percent increase in water tariffs.
According to ECG, this demand is necessary due to the cost of investments projects they are undertaking in order to be more efficient and render quality service, and on the part of GWCL, the cost of water production has gone high, hence the need for the over 300% increment.
Responding to the utility providers during a panel discussion programme ‘Kokrokoo’ on Peace FM, Sylvester Tetteh, was exceptionally alarmed by their proposals.
The Parliamentarian noted that ECG and GWCL’s demands on grounds that the consumers pay more for quality service has over the years turned out to be a mirage.
He stated that, “since the days of former President JJ Rawlings, any time they want to increase utility, they come under the guise of ‘give us more money to give you quality service’. That has been the problem . . . what I’ve seen . . . even though if data backs it, they will start demanding high percentage”.
To him, the focus of the companies should be on stopping the excess waste, in order to save cost but not overcharging Ghanaians on utilities.
“We all know that, in energy production, there is a percentage of wastage that is acceptable. We have never come close to that acceptable percentage of wastage in our country but nobody is held responsible for that wastage – excess wastage – in our system but Ghanaians are made to pay for it,” he said.
Sylvester Tetteh, found the increments very absurd.
“Today, they tell us they want 148 percent. Ghana Water Company also says they want 300 percent. Over 300 percent; it’s absurd!”, he exclaimed.
He called on the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) not to entertain such demands, emphasizing “we cannot continue to pay for their inefficiencies. So, they should come clean and I hope it is not one of their tricks to get the people of Ghana coerced to pay”.
Mr Tetteh called for a legislation to protect utility consumers, following the ECG and GWCL demands for increments in tariffs, saying the companies’ demands are extortionate, therefore stressing, “it’s about time we have to legislate for consumer protection and create space to protect consumers in this country”.
“We cannot continue to pay for their inefficiencies. So, they should come clean and I hope it is not one of their tricks to get the people of Ghana coerced to pay,” he accentuated, and appealed to the regulatory body, PURC, and government not to tolerate such increments.
“Look, the situation we’re in today, I’m not too sure but the President I know, the cabinet I know will not fall for this . . . We should not even entertain in the first place that today you’re proposing 300 percent. It doesn’t make sense. What is the justification for 300 and more percentage increment for water?”