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General News of Thursday, 22 October 2015

Source: kasapafmonline.com

ECG, others must borrow to revamp operations – AFAG

Dr. Ayew AfriyieDr. Ayew Afriyie

Pro-NPP pressure group, Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG) is urging Ghanaians to resist any attempt by the Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC) to increase utility tariff until service providers improve on service delivery.

President of AFAG, Dr. Ayew Afriyie in an interview with Kwaku Owusu Adjei on Si Me So on Kasapa 102.3 FM on Wednesday said should the utility service providers lack the financial muscle to revamp their activities, he could only advise them to borrow from the bank.

By so doing, he said Ghanaians would appreciate their work and pay whatever they would be demanding for.

“They should go to the open market and borrow money to improve on their service delivery. When that is achieved, they can then go to Ghanaians and ask for an increase in utility tariff.”

It is the second time in a week that the utility service providers have been flayed with such sentiments with the first being the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Consumer Protection Agency (CPA), Kofi Kapito.

Kapito had told Kasapa FM last week Thursday that he finds it very difficult to understand why the PURC would allow the utility service providers to force ordinary Ghanaians into pre-financing their operations when their services are nothing to write home about.

In the view of AFAG, there is no justification for any tariff increment after earlier funds approved by the PURC have yielded no results.

“Last year, utility fees were increased over 80% with a paltry 10% increase in salaries this year. In spite of the high prices of goods and services currently crippling consumption, on the 1st of July 2015, the PURC reviewed Electricity and Water tariffs with an increase of 51.73 % for Electricity and 15% for Water. The explanation given was the same old refrain; that consumers should pay more in order to improve the quality of services delivered. However, the services of both electricity and water got worse off,” a statement released by AFAG on Wednesday in part read.

It added, “Interestingly, barely three months after the July increase, the Ghana Water company Limited (GWCL) is seeking another 124% increment while the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), on the other hand is seeking a101% increase. This is complete rip-off and sheer economic enslavement sponsored by an overtly corrupt, inept and a broke government. In effect Ghanaians are been levied to pay for the $170 million dollars owed WAPCo and N-gas.”

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