Business News of 2014-06-21

Pay bills promptly — ECG boss

The Managing Director of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), Reverend William Hutton Mensah, has bemoaned the high rate of theft of electric power and customers’ unwillingness to pay their bills promptly as challenges that were affecting the work of the company.

He stressed that the theft of electricity was a serious issue that had led to huge losses within the system. Rev. Mensah expressed the concern at the inauguration of a district office for the ECG at Akyem Oda.

He said the ECG had worked hard to bring down the losses that were being incurred by the system from a high of 27 per cent in 2011 to about 23 per cent in December 2013. He said the ECG was currently collaborating with the Ghana Police Service and the Judiciary to apprehend and prosecute culprits who stole power.

He disclosed that special courts had, therefore, been established to handle the theft cases. Rev. Mensah said the business of supplying electricity was capital intensive and as such there was need for customers to pay their bills in full to empower ECG to serve them better.

He re-echoed the call for energy conservation, and appealed to Ghanaians to switch off air conditioners, deep freezers, fridges and all high-consuming electrical appliances during the peak period between 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. and also when the World Cup matches were being played.

He revealed that 45 additional communities in the Oda area had recently been connected to the national electricity grid through the National Electrification Programme, bringing the total number of connected communities within the Oda Municipality to 128.

He said the ECG office in Oda, which was financed under the Ghana Energy Development and Access Project (GEDAP), stood as a testimony of the company’s resolve to deliver quality service to customers.

Rev. Mensah revealed that the ECG had a target this year to complete and inaugurate 21 modern district offices and a number of customer service centres and regional offices, some of which were at advanced stages of completion.

The acting General Manager of the ECG in the Eastern Region, Mr A. Anokye Abebreseh, earlier in a welcome address, observed that the opening of new regional and district offices across the country was an indication of the changing face of the company.

The Queen of the Akyem Kotoku Traditional Area, Nana Akua Asantewaa, who chaired the function, expressed concern over the intermittent power outages in the country which, she said, were collapsing many businesses. She, therefore, urged the management of the ECG to take realistic measures to reverse the trend.