Business News of Saturday, 12 January 2019
Public utility providers in the Northern Region have proposed to the Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC) for an upward adjustment in tariffs to enhance their revenue generation.
The providers explained that the reduction in utility tariffs as at 2018 negatively affected their revenue generation and quality of service provided to customers in the region.
They proposed a public forum organized by the PURC in Tamale aimed at creating stakeholder consultation platform for utility service providers to present an upward adjustment proposal on electricity and water tariffs for the 2019-2023 tariff period.
Mr. Kofi Owiredu Ntow, Manager, Marketing Operations for the Ghana Grid Company Limited (GRIDCo) said the pronouncement by GRIDCo for an upward adjustment in utility tariffs was to ensure the company’s long term business sustainability.
He said the company’s inability to complete projects including; the Aboadze 330kV substation expansion, the 330kV Kumasi-Kintampo-Tamale-Bolgatanga line had increased the company’s cost of transmission in the region.
“The completion of those projects will significantly cut down transmission losses to provide adequate power transfer capability to benefit the citizenry, but we are challenged in their completion as a result of finance.”
“We, therefore, call on the PURC to give us cost reflective tariffs to improve transmission in the country to the benefit of Ghanaians,” he said.
Mr. Kofi Maxwell Kotoka, Manager, Corporate Communication Officer at the Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCo) said an upward review would relatively upsurge the Distribution Service Charge (DSC) pegged at GHC0.307555/kWh in 2018 to GHC0.430526/kWh to finance its operations in 2019.
He said an upsurge in the DSC would also help the company to service the cost of materials and equipment, make a significant investment on infrastructure as well as the needed resources to ensure quality services.
Mr. Yakubu Iddrrisu, the East Mamprusi District Manager of the Zoomlion Company, said the reduction in utility tariffs as at 2018 had not really helped in addressing the plight of the citizenry as costumers still paid a higher cost of utilities from service providers.
He urged service providers to improve on the quality of services, while adapting to the use of appropriate strategies in the collection of utility bills, to increase their revenue base rather than requesting for an upward adjustment.
Mr Abdul-Razak Isshaku, a teacher, indicated that it was unnecessary on the part of the service providers to propose for an adjustment in utility tariffs, quizzing that “how long has it been since the government announced the 2018 reduction on tariffs”.
He said it was therefore mind-boggling why the service providers would subsequently demand upward adjustment in tariffs saying, “There should be consultation between government and the service providers to ensure certainty”.
Participants included; GRIDCo, NEDCo, Electricity Company of Ghana Limited (ECG), Power Distribution Services Limited (PDS), Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) and Enclave Power Company Limited (EPC) as well as some members of the public.