Mr Ishmael Agyekumhene, Chairman of the Technical Committee of the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC), has advised Ghanaians to stop politicizing energy issues.
He said the energy situation was such that, “every Ghanaian must understand the need to increase tariffs and not allow social considerations into the energy sector which only resulted in legacy debts”
According to Mr Agyekumhene, the revenue short fall as at September 2019, was GHC80 million, due to the exchange rate and other factors, adding that, the only way out was the automatic adjustment.
The Technical Committee Chairman, at a stakeholder’s engagement on post tariff education in Koforidua, organized by the PURC, noted that, the automatic adjustment was a bitter pill swallowed other than waiting and increasing with a higher margin or resulting in government having to find the money to pay the short fall.
He therefore called on labour to do away with politicization of the energy issue and be real to the situation pertaining on the ground so that together, there would be a convergence where all stakeholders would be satisfied with the energy situation.
Mr Agyekumhene made it clear that some social considerations in the past had not helped in managing the situation, rather it had brought about some contract agreements that was not beneficial citing the “take or pay” where government was required to pay 50 million US dollars for gas weather used or not.
That, he indicated, the Minister of Finance had initiated the move to re- negotiate that contract, as it could not be cancelled, otherwise the country risked judgment debts and called on all to be vigilant to ensure that every power user paid appropriately to stop illegal connection and power stealing as a means to recover the debts.
Dr Simons Akorli, Director, Regulatory Economics PURC, explained that Ghana needed GHC8.667 billion annually to generate power for the entire nation and so the cost for consumers to pay was based on that figure.
He said PURC was very mindful of the inefficiencies in the power generation and distribution system and ensured that such losses were not passed to consumers to pay and that the increase was based on several factors.
Alhaji Jabaru Abukari, Director of Regional Operations of PURC, therefore called on the public to use power wisely to preserve energy as well as reduce their bills.