Mahama contradicts ECG on power tariff subsidy

The President has contradicted a power tariff subsidy announcement by the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), confusing electricity consumers and dampening their hopes of a relief from high bills. President John Mahama said contrary to what the power distributor announced last Monday, Government of Ghana was not subsidising the tariffs but instead the distributor has re-aligned its billing cycle.

“The bills have been made more transparent. So that you can tell with every unit you buy how much the value of the unit is. It is not a subsidy. It is a re-alignment of the billing system that makes it possible for us to able to know how much we are spending on electricity,” the President said while addressing Muslims at the Eid-Ul-Fitr celebrations on Wednesday.

Although the President suggested that the re-alignment would still bring a reduction in the widely criticised electricity tariff, his pronouncement opposed assurance by ECG that relief for electricity consumers would be facilitated by a GH¢300 million subsidy. ECG’s announcement that electricity cost has been eased follows widespread criticisms and demonstrations by the public against what they say is overbilling and high tariff charges by the power retailer. T

he ECG had said at a news conference on Monday that the Government of Ghana, after extensive consultation with all stakeholders of the power sector, has provided some reliefs by way of subsidies to all ECG Customers.

The ECG said “the utility relief by Government of Ghana is being implemented and therefore the ‘reckoner’ [which assists in the calculation of power consumption charges] will guide customers on money paid and the corresponding units to customers.” However, with both ECG and government failing to provide a clarification of the issue, the general public and power consumers especially have been left wondering what to believe and what not to.