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Business News of Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Source: The Finder

ECG cuts power to Trade Fair over Ghc300,000 debt

Hundreds of employees working in companies located at the premises of the Ghana Trade Fair Company (GTFC) Limited in Accra risk losing their jobs because the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has disconnected the entire Trade Fair premises for indebtedness.

What is even worrying is that some of the companies which have settled their bills in full have also been affected by the disconnection.

The few companies that can afford to buy diesel now run on generators for their entire operations.

Information gathered by The Finder indicates that Trade Fair owes ECG close to Ghc300,000.

Trade Fair officials told The Finder that the entire premises is served with two bulk metres, and the ECG bills Trade Fair based on the reading of the two bulk metres, and Trade Fair in turn bills individual companies based on readings on their metres.

The officials explained that while some of the individual companies pay their bills promptly and are not owing a pesewa, others have defaulted for months, resulting in the close to Ghc300,000 indebtedness.

According to them, the frequent disconnection was having a negative impact on companies that pay their bills on time.

They noted that the situation is so serious that, sometimes, they have to lock all entrances for tenants to show proof of bill payment before they are allowed to enter the Trade Fair premises.

They have also forcibly locked up the offices of defaulting tenants to demand payments.

The officials said following the mounting debts, Trade Fair asked ECG to install prepaid metres for all offices.

However, ECG said prepaid metres would only be installed when the close to Ghc300,000 debt is settled.

Trade Fair officials noted that the security car park and the Automated Teller Machine (ATM) Zone have all been rendered useless as a result of the power cuts.