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NAPO: Illegal power connection costing ECG GHC3.2 billion

On Monday (April 12), the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) embarked on a mass disconnection exercise to counter high levels of indebtedness by clients

The Energy Minister, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh has said illegal electricity connection is costing the country about GHC3.2 billion.

The illegal electricity connection has been a major problem for the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) for some time now.

Addressing journalists on Wednesday (13 April) on developments in the energy sector, Dr Opuku Prempeh said there is a need to irreversibly deal with the problem.

“The amount of energy ECG is putting in the system, it is not getting the commensurate amount of money back to ensure that it becomes financially viable and companies that are relying on ECG for their finances also get enough money.

“…Figures within ECG; there are commercial losses and there are connection losses; I mean theft, those who are stealing meters, those who are bypassing their meters, those whose meters are not working and those who don’t have meters but also have electricity is costing ECG nearly GHC3.2 billion.

“Even in current exchange terms, over US$400 million. So, if ECG loses US$400 million, which company can be viable if it continues to lose that amount of money. And that ECG lose is our inability or unwillingness to pay all power theft,” he said.

Listen to Prempeh in the attached audio below: 

ECG begins mass disconnection Monday

On Monday (April 12), the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) embarked on a mass disconnection exercise to counter high levels of indebtedness by clients.

A statement issued by the company on Friday urged all customers who owe ECG money to settle their bills to avoid being disconnected.

“The Electricity Company of Ghana Limited wishes to inform its cherished customers and the general public that it will be resuming its normal revenue mobilisation exercise effective 12 April 2021,” the ECG statement said.

Funding gap

Meanwhile, the Electricity Company of Ghana has said that it needs much more money to enable it to operate effectively.

Speaking at a public forum, the managing director of ECG, Kwame Agyeman-Budu, said this is crucial as the company awaits a tariff adjustment from the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC).

“We need money to do it [improve]. If we get the increase we will love it [but] that will be up to the PURC because, no matter what we propose, they will ultimately decide,” he said.

Agyeman-Budu added: “In terms of distribution, we need support because we have to do upgrades to make sure the system is sustainable. We don’t wait till something is broken before we fix it. We need additional funds to upgrade our systems at all times.”

Currently, lifeline consumers who are classified as poor and low-income earners pay GHC16 monthly for power consumed and an additional GHC2.13 as a service charge, making a total of roughly GHC18.

Nicholas Brown

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Nicholas Brown

I am a multi-media journo with Asaase Radio. I tell stories that shape the difficulties of life. Let's talk about anything acting, stage direction and making an impact.

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