The Power Ministry has implored the Electricity Company of Ghana to exempt some institutions from its ongoing mass disconnection exercise.
Reports indicate that government owes the company close to GHC1 billion, while individuals and corporate institutions owe it a little over GH¢600 million.
In a bid recover such debts; ECG has in the past few days embarked on a massive disconnection exercise which has so far affected some institutions in the country including a Police barracks at Tema Community 8, and the newly inaugurated Ayensu Starch Factory.
But a statement signed by the Deputy Minister of Power, John Abdulai Jinapor, while commending ECG for embarking on the disconnection exercise, also urged it to consider exempting health, educational and security installations from the disconnection exercise.
It further said the Finance Ministry is making efforts to pay its debts to ECG.
“The Ministry of Power wishes to commend efforts currently being made by the Electricity Company of Ghana to collect outstanding bills owed it by various categories of customers complemented by the Revenue Task Force. We have also noted the ongoing disconnection exercise being carried out by ECG to retrieve outstanding bills owed by customers.”
“Whilst we commend ECG in that regard, we wish to bring to your attention, Government’s decision to temporarily exclude certain critical categories from pre-payment metering and the mass disconnection exercise. These include critical installations in the health, security and educational institutions.
The Ministry of Finance would continue to take steps to address the payment of arrears for such categories of institutions. We should, therefore, be grateful if you could act in line with the foregoing,” the statement added.
Gov’t to privatize ECG
The government has said it is privatizing parts of ECG under a concessionary arrangement but workers of the company have kicked against the move and have held series of protest against the government.
The government has defended the move, arguing that the deal will guarantee greater efficiency in the company but the workers have strongly opposed it citing potential job losses among others.
According to the workers, government’s indebtedness and undue interference in the operations of the ECG is large to blame for the company’s challenges.