Accra Polytechnic students agitate over utility tariff
Students at the Accra Polytechnic are demonstrating over management decision to pass on the cost of utilities to them if government does not come to its aid.
The agitation follows the disconnection of power to the polytechnic by the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) last Friday for its indebtedness of GHC2 million
Read more: Accra Polytechnic students to pay for utilities
The management of the Accra Polytechnic has hinted that it may be compelled to transfer the cost of utilities to students if the government does not solve the problem.
The ECG is demanding 80 per cent payment of the GH¢2,750,035.17 debt the polytechnic owes the company. The polytechnic, however, insists that it owes the ECG GH¢1,496,222.22.
Read more: ECG cuts power to Kumasi Polytechnic
Nonetheless, the Public Relations Officer of the polytechnic, Ms Fausta Ganaa said the institution did not have the resources to pay the amount being demanded by the ECG and, therefore, the plausible thing for it to do was to pass on the debt to the students if the government did not go to the aid of the polytechnic.
“Any attempt to pay 80 per cent of the amount, as demanded by the ECG, will be detrimental to our very existence,” she said.
As a result of the disconnection, Ms Ganaa said, the polytechnic now spent GH¢2,500 daily on fuel for its generators, so that academic activities could go on.
The government, in 2014, gave a directive to all ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to pay their utility bills.
Since then, the ECG has been disconnecting MDAs, particularly public tertiary institutions, that default in the payment of electricity bills.
Last August, the company disconnected the Koforidua Polytechnic from the national electricity grid for failing to pay its electricity bills, totalling GH¢790,000.
Ms Ganaa, however, said the government had not finalised its decision for public tertiary institutions to pay their own utility bills, as the institutions were still in consultation with the Ministry of Education and the National Council for Tertiary Education to discuss the way forward.
Read more: ECG cuts power to 900 households in the Western Region
She said even though the consultations were ongoing, Accra Poly had made some effort to pay part of the electricity bill.
“Just a week before the disconnection of power to our premises, the institution paid GH¢250,000 and so we are surprised at ECG’s action,” she said.