- There is a push by a consumer rights campaigner for the president to pay utility bills just like every citizen
- Kofi Kapito of the Consumer Protection Agency thinks Ghana must adopt the practice because it is standard in other jurisdictions
- He believes firmly that if the sitting president and other top government officials pay for water and electricity, the utility companies will improve efficiency
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A consumer rights champion is advocating for sitting presidents and other top state officials to be made to pay electricity and water bills like every citizen in Ghana.
Kofi Kapito, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Consumer Protection (CPA), said allowing the ‘big men’ and ‘big women’ in government to pay utility bills will boost the service provision of the utility companies like the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) and the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).
According to a 3 News report, Kofi Kapito said not even Nana Akufo-Addo should be exempted from paying water and electricity bills. Kofi Kapito argued that it is a standard practice in other jurisdictions for top state officials to pay their own utility bills.
His bold suggestion at stakeholder engagement by the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) on the proposals for huge utility tariff increase.
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Kofi Capito raised concerns about the technical and commercial losses some of the service providers reported. He lamented the refusal of Ghanaians to pay their utility bills promptly.
He also said it was unfortunate that the utility companies are unable to recover huge debts owed them by individuals and big institutions. That, according to him, was causing the rampant inefficiency in service delivery.
Four Reasons ECG And Ghana Water Want Over 100% Tariff Increases
Meanwhile, YEN.com.com previously reported that the ECG and the GWCL are pushing for over 100% increases in tariffs for 2022. While the ECG wants tariffs to be increased by 148% for 2022 and again by 7.6% between 2023 to 2026, the GWCL wants tariffs to be increased by a whopping 334%.
In a report to the PURC, the regulator of utility tariffs and quality of service, the two utility companies have appealed for the proposals to be approved. YEN.com.gh has gathered the following reasons given by the ECG and GWCL for the proposed tariff increments.
1. ECG and GWCL said there has been a significant gap between the actual cost of recovery tariff and the tariff approved by the PURC for many years. The two utility tariffs say the PURC-approved tariffs do not reflect the high cost of production.
2. The PURC’s refusal to approve the previously proposed tariffs was taking a toll on operations. The GWCL, for instance, said it is unable to raise enough revenue to finance the much-needed capital investment projects due to the current tariff paid by water consumers. The water company blames this for the unsatisfactory level of service.
3. The GWCL also said the proposed tariff will enable it to pay a monthly loan of $7.93 million, which is currently 47.15% of its average monthly revenue. The water company also said the proposed tariff increments have been largely driven by exchange rate depreciation and a paradigm shift in government economic policies. The GWCL also stated that the new tariffs it has proposed will enable it to deliver world class service.
4. The ECG also cited the cost of investment projects for the proposed tariff increases for 2022, noting that “the gap that has developed over the years between the actual cost recovery tariff and the PURC approved tariffs; the continual application of the prevailing tariff (which was a 14% reduction) beyond the stipulated regulatory period (2019-2020); and the effect of macroeconomic factors.”
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