Moves by the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to clamp down on theft of power via various illegal means of connection to the power grid have led to at least GH¢40m being recovered in the last 10 months.
The nationwide audit of power consumers, which began last August, has led to hundreds of people facing prosecution at the special utilities court in Accra.
Addressing journalists in Tema after the ECG visited premises of some customers to check the integrity of their metering system, ECG’s Director of Customer Services Nana Kobina Arthur Forson said the exercise is beginning to yield results.
According to him, the exercise yielded over GH¢8.7million in the first quarter of this year alone, prompting the service provider to step up its efforts to clamp down on power theft.
“We started this exercise going from house to house to check those who have by-passed our meters and are consuming power for free. So after fishing out culprits we summoned them; they are surcharged and then prosecute them.
“We were able to rake in GH¢31million from August-December 2015 as a result of this exercise. For the first quarter of this year, we have been able to rake in GH¢8.7million,” Mr. Arthur Forson told newsmen after the exercise.
The 10-month-old exercise, he said, has unearthed sophisticated and dubious mechanisms that consumers of power employ to connect with the national grid.
“The thieves have become so sophisticated, and we will not sit and allow them; that’s why we have to combat them in their hide-outs,” he said.
Thursday’s field exercise saw the ECG Task Force visit the premises of about eight consumers where it was discovered that various meters have been tampered with, leading to the consumers’ power being disconnected and them being subsequently summoned.
During the exercise, a settlement reportedly inhabited by some policemen was found to have been illegally connected to the national grid.
Although no one was picked up over the incident, the ECG revealed that it will probe the issue of the settlement located at the premises of the Community 8 Police in Tema.
By law the police barracks, just like other security installations, are not directly responsible for their electricity bills as they are taken care of by government.
Deputy Manager of Public Affairs at ECG, Dan Adjei Larbi, briefing journalists said the utility service provider will commence investigations into the incident to understand how the settlement got onto the national grid on the ECG’s blindside.
Source: B & FT