There’s No Free Lunch — Nana Akomea Justifies Utility Tariff Hike

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A former Communications Director of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akomea, has reacted to the proposal by the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to increase tariffs by 148 percent covering 2019 to 2022, and the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) seeking for 334% increase in water tariffs.

He has backed the utility tariff hike and justified that ECG and Ghana Water Company deserve the increases in tariffs.

He questioned the logic of opposing the tariff increments.

He explained that the utility companies need the increments to help boost their operations because if they risk collapsing their cost of operations remains huge coupled with rickety machinery issues.

The power distribution company, the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), has proposed to the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC), seeking approval for the upward review of electricity tariff by 148% for 2022.

For the subsequent years – from 2023 to 2026 – the ECG is seeking further approval for a 7.6% tariff increase on its Distribution Service Charge (DSC) which is the charge for distributing electricity to Ghanaian households.

The management of the Ghana Water Company (GWCL) has proposed to the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) to increase water tariffs.

The GWCL in its proposal said over the years, the approved tariffs have not been fully cost-reflective.

This has led to the inability of GWCL to raise enough revenue to finance the much-needed capital investment projects, with a consequent unsatisfactory level of service, the company said.

“Among the urban poor, water can be a critical resource in short supply. GWCL has therefore set up a Low-Income Customer Support Department (LICSD) to deliver improved services to targeted low-income urban poor areas.”

Speaking on Accra-based Peace FM, Akomea said the utility companies are struggling because of the country’s currency depreciation and other economic factors which are taking a negative toll on their operations.

“What do you want them to do when your currency is unstable and their running cost is huge?” he asked.

He appealed to Ghanaians to accept the demands of the companies.

He said: “They [Ghanaians] need to help them or else they will break down…there is no free lunch”.

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