The Eastern Regional branch of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), has retrieved over GHC 450.000.00 from illegal connection activities perpetuated by some customers in the region.
Illegal activities such as illegal connections, non-payment of bills and cable theft, have been a major hindrance to the smooth operations of the company in the region.
In an interview with Citi News, the Eastern Regional Manager of ECG, Engineer Michael Baah, expressed worry about the illegal activities ongoing in the region for some time now.
He said “the recent hikes in tariffs made the company realize people will try to beat the system and resprt to illegal connections and true to our words, some customers tempered with our metres, others also bypassed the metres. We had tip off from some clients so through the efforts of our Loss Control Unit (LCU), we have retrieved over GHC 450.000.00 from illegal connections as at October 2016.”
Engineer Michael Baah said “the company last year retrieved an amount of GHC 485,813.65 from 231 recorded case’s of illegal activities in the Region.
He added that “the culprits were arrested and taken to court which found them guilty and were made to pay their charges.”
Engineer Michael Baah addressing the media at a briefing, said “the Electricity Company of Ghana in the region as part of our yearly target to improve power supply in the region earmarked 115 Regional Development projects for this year, to improve voltage and supply reliability, extension of power to developed areas, reinforce the existing electrical network system, and also enhance customer satisfaction, has been able to complete all the 115 projects as I speak”
He said “I cannot mention all the projects here but significantly, the region now has a mobile substation at Mpraeso which costs $1.7million, and it is purposely to cater for the rapid load growth on the Kwahu Ridge areas and the Afram Plains.”
He added “the Suhum Switching station has also been upgraded to a 210MVA capacity substation, to serve the power needs of Suhum and its environs.”
He explained that “currently, work is ongoing to complete the construction of a 210MVA 33/11KV primary substation at Asamankese, the station when completed, would serve about 40,000 customers in Asamankese relieving them of low voltage, Suhum, Akwatia and Nsawam districts”.
Numerous lawsuits affecting us
Engineer Michael Baah in a separate interview with Citi News expressed worry about numerous lawsuits the company faces in the region.
He said “litigation is our biggest challenge in the region, people come to us to compensate them when we erect transmitting poles on their land and we do settle them. Others also find difficulty in releasing their lands to us for developmental projects and they go to court for settlement.”
He added that, “most of the times we end up diverting our initial course of operation and these diversions come with greater cost because sometimes the new route to be used is not favourable but we are forced to do it.”
The Regional Public Relations officer, also pleaded with the public to work hand in hand with the company, and also deal only with accredited ECG staff to avoid any illegality to ensure smooth operations and complete customer satisfaction in the region.