The Institute of Energy Security (IES) is warning that the technical and operational challenges within the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) may escalate if the process for the handing over to the Power Distribution Services (PDS) is delayed any further.
The IES also wants the PURC to be swift in announcing the new tariffs as the delay is adversely affecting businesses and general consumers since it is preventing them from planning.
The comments follow the inability of the two institutions to meet a February 1, 2019 deadline for the announcement of the changes.
The handing over of the operations of ECG to Power Distribution Services has been necessitated by the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s support to Ghana with some 500 million dollars in developing the power sector.
The aim of the financial assistance is to turn around the fortunes of ECG by reducing avoidable losses, increasing productivity and provision of competitive prices for utility supplied.
The CEO of the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s local representative, Millennium Development Authority, MiDA, Martin Esson Benjamin, was emphatic that all the necessary procedures had been completed for a smooth takeover on February 1, 2019.
But on that fateful day, MiDA announced the suspension of the handing over to a later date.
Speaking to Citi Business News on the issue, the Executive Secretary of the IES, Kwasi Anamuah Sakyi’s highlighted the implications of the delay as follows;
“When adequate planning goes into it the handing over will not just be smooth but then it will be successful so that we will be able to meet the objective of the whole exercise.”
“It could also turn out negative when the ECG will continue to make the losses; the technical and operational losses,” he added.
PURC awaits stakeholder engagement
In a related development, the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission after consultations with utility providers and other relevant stakeholders indicated the announcement of new utility tariffs.
At the time, the regulator maintained that the new tariffs will take effect on February 1.
This was to guide businesses, as well as general consumers, know their stands and plan accordingly.
But this is also yet to be set in motion and the IES is concerned.
“Any delay in announcing the new tariffs also leads consumers sitting on tenterhooks and they need these figures so that they can also plan,” Mr. Anamuah Sakyi noted.
For now, the sector Ministry may have the ultimate say and facilitate the two major processes.
But until that comes, all will have to wait with bated breath for any outcome for the power sector.