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Business News of Thursday, 19 July 2018

Source: Michael Creg Afful

Ministries, Department and Agencies to be provided with prepaid meters


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It has emerged that the implementation of the private sector participation in the management of the Electricity Company of Ghana will lead to the changing of all post-paid metering system at the various Ministries, Department and Agencies to prepaid ones except four "strategic facilities."

These strategic facilities are the office of the President, Ministries of Defense and Interior and government hospitals.

This was contained in a document released by Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP).

Although ACEP commended the past and current government for the bold decision it took to ensure that MDAs are put on Prepaid Meters, it expressed worry the exemption of the four supposed strategic facilities.

"Under the PSP all government departments will be provided with prepaid meters to compel government to pay its bills.

"It is equally bold to see government agree to this proposition in the face of fiscal challenges which continue to hinder government’s responsibility toward its electricity bills.

However, the agreement proposes the exclusion of “strategic facilities” in a listed MDAs; Office of the President, the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of
Health.

According to ACEP, "One of the challenges the utility has faced is the non-payment of bills by the government" and wondered why the four government institutions were exempted.

It blamed the government institutions for contributing to the financial challenges of ECG.

ACEP is of the view that, the PSP agreement should have indicated how the supposed strategic facilities would be paying their bills, but said that wasn't done.

The MDAs pencilled as strategic happen to be the most energy demanding ones, usually operating for 24 hours, in the entire government setup.

ACEP expressed the fear that "without mechanism to pay the bills, the risk of government default is still high and threatens the sustainability of the concession agreement."

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