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Tariff hikes justifiable – Sampson Ahi 

Sampson Ahi

Deputy Minister of Water and Resources, Sampson Ahi has justified government’s recent increment in utility tariffs.

The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) in December 2015, increased electricity and water tariffs by 59.2 percent and 67.2 percent respectively.

The decision has been widely criticized by Ghanaians who believe government’s decision was insensitive.

But the Minister explained the increment in water tariffs, saying the hike was necessitated by the rising cost of water production.

“…Before the increment we were selling one cubic meter of water at 1 cedi 45 pesewas, When we talk about 1 cubic of water we are talking about 220 gallons of water being sold less than 2 cedis …because it has been announced in percentage wise it looks frightening but let us analyse this issue very well.

Voltic water is being sold at GHC2 but Ghana Water Company is selling 220 gallons of water, even with the increment, still less than GHC2.”

“Maybe we have not been able to explain it better to Ghanaians for them to appreciate what this government is doing for them because if it costs you GHC8 cedis to produce one cubic meter of water and you sell it GHC2 cedis you can’t conclude that such a government is insensitive. You can’t.”

The Minister further asked Ghanaians to ignore what he described as the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) propaganda on the tariff increment since government’s decision was hinged on good reasons.

“As for NPP and this type of propaganda, I think Ghanaians should be very careful with NPP because we know their history. NPP in 2000 when they were campaigning, President Kufuor was going round throughout the country with a gallon,… complaining but he increased it when he came to power.”

“How do we believe them today that they are not doing propaganda because they want power. We know the history of NPP when it comes to these tax issues. They introduced top tax and so if you introduce tax when you were in office and today another government comes and introduce tax why do you complain?” he queried.

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