A Minority member on Parliament’s Mines and Energy Committee, Adams Mutawakilu has accused President Akufo-Addo of stampeding the functions of the Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC) when he announced tariff reduction 2017.
The legislator who is also the Minority spokesperson on Energy said, the PURC is failing to discharge its functions because of the illegal action President Akufo-Addo took in announcing the reduction in tariff without recourse to the functions of the PURC.
He said, ‘’I want to urge the PURC to sit up. They are not performing. But I know why they are not performing. When President Nana Akufo-Addo decided to announce electricity tariff in the budget without giving recourse to PURC, why won’t other agencies take this same root? I don’t blame PURC much, I blame President Nana Akufo-Addo for stampeding the functions of the PURC by announcing tariff reduction in 2018 budget.’’
Adams Mutawakilu said the country has enough resources to provide adequate power, and the irregular power situation is a clear indication of the government’s mismanagement of these resources, hence the situation.
He has also alleged that ‘dumsor’ is back as against the assurances given by government.
“It is evident that ‘dumsor’ is coming back. The excuses given by VRA and GRIDCO are not reasonable. If you talk about Aboadze thermal plant having challenges, we have excess power of 804 MegaWatts so they should have excess capacity in the power sector so that when one plants goes down, another one functions. So that explanation given should not be accepted by Ghanaians; they should take it with a pinch of salt.”
In January this year, President Akufo-Addo announced that, non-residential users of electricity in the country would enjoy an average of 14% reduction in electricity tariffs.
He said “from January this year, the non-residential tariff rate, which is the rate which includes all of you here, is being reduced by an average of 14%. For barbers, it is being reduced by 18%; for hairdressers and beauticians, 15.7%, and for tailors, 9.8%.”
President Akufo-Addo continued, “An average bill last year was GH¢562 a month. With this reduction from January, it is coming down to GH¢473 a month, which means GH¢88 has been taken from the electricity tariff that you pay. We want to encourage private business, and make business stand on its feet.”
The President made this known on Monday, 15th January, 2017, at the opening of the 8th Salon Academy of the National Association of Beauticians and Hairdressers, held at the Mensah Sarbah Hall, University of Ghana, Legon.
In March, the PURC announced a 10-30 percent reduction in prices of electricity effective March 15 2018.
A statement issued and signed by the Executive Secretary of PURC, Mami Dufie Ofori, said the reductions are based on the PURC’s Gazetted 2015 tariffs and are only based on energy charges.
However, “maximum demand and service charges remain the same as that of the 2015 gazzeted tariffs,” the statement said.