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07 July 2016

Parliament likely to summon ECG over electricity subsidies

parliamentA Member of the Mines and Energy Committee of Parliament, Joseph Cudjoe says he will suggest to Parliament to invite officials of ECG to explain issues that the government had granted electricity subsidies to consumers.

The MP believes there is the need for clarity as he contends government is not being truthful to Ghanaians.

The ECG earlier this week announced that government has granted subsidies that will benefit 400,000 out of the 3.1 million customers.

But addressing Muslims on the occasion of Eid Mubarack on Wednesday, the President dismissed such reports describing the new billing rates as a realignment of bills by the ECG.

However speaking to Citi Business News on the latest development, Joseph Cudjoe also maintained that the inconsistencies require a probe into the matter.

“I will offer this suggestion to the Chairman of the Committee that we invite ECG to come and explain to us why they announced a subsidy yet the President says it is not a subsidy but a realignment of their billing system.”

It is however not clear when the motion will be laid to invite the ECG to the House for clarification on the issues.

“I am not the one that set timelines for these activities, I am a member of the committee and I only suggest to the Chairman of the committee to agree to do this,” Hon. Cudjoe added.

Currently the country sheds about 240 megawatts of power daily as a result of generation challenges.

This has also culminated in power outages across the country which some believe is a return of dumsor.

The issue has also been attributed to the insufficient supply of crude to power the various thermal plants in the country.

President Mahama explained that sabotage in Nigeria is impeding the country’s ability to transport crude from Nigeria.

But the MP wants government to come clear on what constitutes the said challenges impeding the transportation of crude oil into the country to power thermal plants.

Mr. Joseph Cudjoe tells Citi Business News Ghana’s indebtedness to Nigeria over some supplies could be blamed for the delays in transporting crude to the country.

“If you say we have ordered crude and we are facing challenges bringing it into the country, it could be financial, that is, when you ordered they informed you that you owe too much and that until you pay, you cannot transport them. It could also be logistical in that there are no ships or pipelines to transport them…the Presidency and the Power Ministry must explain this to us.

He again doubted Ghana’s ability to order crude as the country continues to owe its suppliers, “What we know is that we do not have money to order crude if this is not true, they should inform us this is money we do not owe and that we have settled all the challenges with our suppliers and that the challenge we are facing is only logistical.”

ECG announces new billing rates

The announcement of new billing rates by the ECG came weeks after protests by some electricity consumers over the high electricity bills they had to foot.

Though there were initial reports of overbilling, the ECG initially dismissed the reports attributing the issue to some fault with its billing meters.

The PURC subsequently ordered the ECG to rectify the distortions and compensate the affected consumers accordingly.

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