Workers of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) have issued a seven-day ultimatum to the Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC) to withdraw its directive to the power distributor to suspend its billing software.
The unionized staff of ECG claim say they have been compelled to issue the ultimatum because the PURC directive has given some customers the motivation to physically assault, intimidate and abuse some of the ECG staff.
The PURC in May issued a directive to the ECG to suspend the software, citing astronomical bills of post-paid customers which it traced to the billing software, as the basis.
Some consumers have in recent months been complaining of overbilling, with some claiming their bills have doubled although they consume the same quantity of power Addressing the media on Monday, the General Secretary of the Public Utility Workers Union, Ato Bondzie Quaye said “the workers will take the next cause of action after seven days.
“The workers believe there is nothing wrong with the software but the problem is the lack of information about how the new software operates and the new billing system which have been introduced,” he said. Mr Bondzi-Quaye said government’s assurances to settle its indebtedness to the ECG has not yielded any positive result, adding the plan to put ECG under concession will not help the company.
He claimed “previous governments tried this tactic but it did not benefit us as a nation, the government should therefore rescind its decision of private participation in ECG for 25 years because Ghanaians cannot afford to pay for their electricity,”.
He said “the concession will be characterized by job losses and its attendant on social impact on the economy, high tariffs, creating a virtual private monopoly in the energy distribution section.”
He called on the government to address the leadership problem by appointing dynamic and competent leaders with a fixed tenure of five years. “We must raise funds from local sources either through the stock exchange or pension funds instead of borrowing from international money market to invest in the energy sector.”