New electricity tariff is an ‘insult to the consumer’ – Kofi Kapito

The Consumer Protection Agency has described the recent increment in utility tariffs as an insult to the Ghanaian consumer.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Agency, Kofi Kapito in an interview on Citi FM argued that the current energy situation does not warrant consumers to pay more for electricity they are barely supplied with.

“I’m not sure people are so worried about the PURC’s [Public Utilities and Regulatory Commission] increases because it is their mandate, but what we are worried about is that at this particular moment, at this particular time when people are actually going mad because of the utilities, people are losing their jobs, people are being laid off and then you say we should pay minimal increase,” he said.

The PURC in the second quarter Automatic Adjustment Formula, arrived at an actual increase of 31.73% cumulative for electricity and 21.30% for water, but using the Decision Variable, the Commission decided to pass on the minimal tariff increase of 2.63 percent for electricity and 1.06 percent for water due the power crisis the nation is dealing with.

Following the public outrage on the new tariffs, the Commission explained that the increment is to help ECG buy the needed equipment to effectively run the current load management system.

Kofi Kapito was certain that 99% of Ghanaians would have appreciated it if they were being made to pay more for a utility they were enjoying.

“I’m sure consumers would have been more accommodating,” he said, adding that, “I think it is really an insult on the Ghanaian consumer…I am not against an increase because if we are to increase because it’s Ghana, fine; but not at this particular time.”

He questioned why consumers are always made to pre-finance the operations of utility companies in Ghana, insisting that “this thing that we are doing to ourselves as a nation is not proper.”

He was of the view that “the utilities should have had the capacity to go into the open market, go and borrow from within Ghana or outside Ghana and come back and tell us that because we have done this and because we have improved the service delivery, now Ghana, pay more because we have given you what you said you need.”

“But at this particular moment, I want to know why they are increasing it because this is not going to improve the situation so why are they increasing it?” he queried.

Source : citifmonline.com