GWCL undertakes revenue mobilisation exercise in Nungua District

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GWCL
GWCL

The Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) on Wednesday undertook a revenue mobilisation exercise at the Nungua District in the Accra-East Region of the Company.

With 15 teams deployed throughout the district, the company expected to retrieve some GH₵4.7 million on the first day of the exercise.

Much of outstanding amounts are owned by industries located in the Spintex enclave.

Similar exercises are ongoing across the country as part of a nation-wide revenue mobilisation drive to redeem debts owed the company.

Nationally, some GH₵800 million are in arrears with 90 per cent being domestic consumers and 10 per cent Government institutions.

As of January 2023, the national debt was averaging GH₵600 million but it had seen a steady rise from February through to March, necessitating the nation-wide exercise.

The revenue shortfall has been because of the non-payment of water bills by domestic, public, commercial, institutional, and industrial users.

During the mobilisation exercise, customers who had defaulted in their payments, were either disconnected and only reconnected after full payment or a substantial amount, determined by the company, was paid along with a reconnection fee.

Also, customers who had connected illegally, were disconnected, and will be made to face the full extent of the law.

The D.U. Fresh Company, producers of U-Fresh non-alcoholic beverages, which owes the GWCL an amount of GH₵163,000, was disconnected for non-payment.

The Waka Building System, a bottling water and alcoholic drinks manufacturing company also around Spintex, which owes the GWCL GH₵133,188.42 was given by close day to offset their arrears.

At Printex, a textile company, GH₵ 1.7 million out of GH₵ 3.4 million was paid to the GWCL.

Also, GH₵38,560 was retrieved from the Kata Company Limited, an alcoholic beverage producer, which owed the GWCL GH₵220,000.

Dr Clifford Braimah, Managing Director, Ghana Water Company Limited, accompanied by some officials of the Company, leading one of the mobilisation teams, observed that the revenue mobilisation exercise was critical to the company as there was a lot of expenditure incurred in the processing of water.

The MD said there was a regulator for utility companies and GWCL did not have the capacity to increase tariffs anytime there were changes in the world economic order but recovering its debt was non-negotiable for the smooth operation of the company nationwide.

Admittedly, he said there were instances where some customers complained about inadequate flow in water supply, explaining that since the company was not operating a prepaid system but post-paid, it was essential to collect revenue for water that had already been used.

Dr Brimah said: “Whatever has been consumed, there is electricity and chemical use. So, customers cannot say that because they are not going to get water tomorrow, they won’t pay for what they used yesterday. There is no logic in that, and we must not give the customer that opportunity to use that as a basis not to pay. Once your meter reads, that means that you have consumed it.”

“We are only asking for what you have consumed, not what you’re yet to consume,” he emphasised.

The Managing Director said educating the customers, especially the industries, was as important as ensuring that the debts owed the company were paid, adding that there were some challenges encountered when the new tariffs came into force in September after a recategorization was done.

He said it was important, in subsequent stakeholder consultation with the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC), for industries to concentrate on areas that affected them directly and question on payment per cubic meter in during reviews rather than focus on how much the GWCL was proposing in tariffs.

He emphasised that once tariffs were gazetted, it became law, and no person could vary them until a tariff review was undertaken.

To make bill payments seamless, Mr Stanley Martey, Communication and Public Relations Manager, GWCL said a customer friendly application, GWCL Mobile App, had been developed and currently being used by its customers to pay their bills in a timely and most convenient manner.

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