'There's no free lunch anywhere' - Nana Akomea defends PURC on new tariffs

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Wed, 17 Aug 2022 Source: peacefmonline.com

STC Chief Executive Officer, Nana Akomea has welcomed the new increments in utility tariffs by the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC).

The PURC on Monday, 15th August announced an increase in electricity and water tariffs by 27.15% and 21.55% respectively, effective 1st September, 2022.

Addressing the media in Accra, the Executive Director of the PURC, Ishmael Ackah said the commission said; “In balancing the interests of service providers and consumers, the PURC acknowledged that the very economic variables that have occasioned the steep increases proposed by the service providers also affect consumers. The commission admitted, however, that some level of increases in utility tariffs were inevitable if the nation was to avoid another dumsor and its attendant effects including job losses."

“The Commission therefore decided to increase the average end-user tariff for electricity by 27.15% and water by 21.55% effective 1st September, 2022. These rates, in view of the Commission, are sensitive and responsive to the positions of all stakeholders in the utility space in line with sections 3(c) of PURC Act 1997 (Act 538)."

Contributing to Peace FM's panel discussion programme "Kokrokoo", Nana Akomea opined that the new tariffs are a step in the right direction and argued it will help the utility providers to effectively serve its customers.

He recounted that the utility companies have had to bear a huge cost of operation for a long time stressing the tariffs were last increased in 2019.

"When you look at the trend of utility increment, you will know this one isn't too bad . . . in 2012, there was no increment. It was increased by 46 percent in 2013 and in 2014, it was increased by 50 percent. In 2015, the increment was 53%. In 2016 and 2017, there was no increment. As for 2018, we even reduced it by about 21%. It was in 2019 we increased it again by 11%. We didn't increase it in 2020 and 2021 and 2022, we have increased it by 27%. So, when you look at these facts, it means we even inconvenienced them", he explained.

To him, the PURC has been very considerate with electricity and water users because they have had to cut the tariffs down from the initial request of over 100 percent and 300 percent in electricity and water by the utility providers.

He implored the users to cope with the new tariffs, stressing "there is no free lunch anywhere . . . with the cost of production, if you are not able to recover it, the utility companies will shut down".

He also advised the utility companies to ensure that "water will keep flowing and the electricity will keep flowing".

Source: peacefmonline.com