Business News of 2014-07-26

Electricity consumers are in huge arrears

Customers of the Northern Electricity Department (NEDCo) in the Upper West Region owe GH? 13,102,829 in arrears with Ministries, Departments and Agencies as the chief culprits.

The Department’s general collection rate stands at 38 and taking off MDAs the Department can boast of over 100 percent collection rate among individual customers.

This means a chunk of the amount in arrears is owed by the MDAs, Madam Hilda Jalia Alhassan, Area Commercial Officer, told journalists at Wa. She said the Department had 88,100 customers and majority of them are still in the post paid system which is giving Department challenges.

Madam Hilda said the Department recorded 32 percent losses in April and this reduced to 25 percent in May and added that it would step up disconnections to recover the arrears.

Mr. S. D. Smith Issah, Area Finance Officer of NEDCo, said the Department needed $ 221,567, 900 to improve on its service delivery. Alhaji Mohammed Siam, Head, Public and Communication Relations, said as part of efforts to arrest the challenge, management had set up a task force to go after people stealing power.

The team would be in the Upper West Region next week to carry out the exercise. Alhaji Siam said the Department had always announced planned power outages to the public, but explained that some of the outages were beyond the control of the Department because they were caused by unforeseen transmission failure.

He said customers should know that when their meters were not running it was NEDCo that looses and that it was in the interest of NEDCo for the meters of its customers to be running all the time for it to stay in business and compete.

Mr. Elvis Demuyakor, the Area Engineer admitted that currently the voltage in Wa town was not the best but that the problem would soon be addressed when the one-six-one substation was finally commissioned.

He called on the public to eschew illicit acts such as burning down of electricity poles and illegal power tapping to help NEDCo improve on its services to the people.