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We Are Too Broke To Pay Fine – ECG Begs PURC

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The Director of Communications at the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), William Boateng, has underscored that the utility company was broke and that the company will not get money to pay the current fine imposed on it by the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC).

Following the prepaid vending and metering glitch, the PURC has directed ECG to compensate customers who were affected by the problem.

According to the PURC, this was in line with the breach of the ECG’s statutory obligations.

But speaking in an interview with DAILY Analyst, Mr. Boateng noted that the recent system failure was accidental and had never happened before.

He maintained that the management of ECG was in the process of engaging the PURC to explain what caused the system failure of its prepaid vending and metering.

The compensations, the PURC indicated will come in the form of one-time electricity credit commencing 1 October 2022, and ending October 7, 2022.

Life consumers are to be given GH¢15 credit equivalent while those in the residential and non-residential were to receive GH¢120 and GH¢240 respectively.

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The loss suffered by commercial and industrial institutions is to be reimbursed with penalty units equivalent to GHS GHC480 and GHC1, 200 as a show of responsive customer service.

Persons to benefit from the compensation include customers in Volta, Takoradi, Tema, Cape Coast, Kasoa, Winneba, Swedru, Koforidua, Nkwakaw and Tafo.

But in a quick response, Mr. Boateng pointed out that his outfit could not fathom why the PURC did not actively engage them to listen to their side of the story before taking that decision.

“We think that to ensure fairness in this matter, it would equally be good for PURC being the regulator to engage ECG on this matter to find out from the company what had happened before taking any decision in that regard.

“…but the PURC has not done that. In fact, we are not saying that we will not pay the fine but the ECG is completely broke. We are not even making profit. We are operating at a loss. So where are we going to get the money to pay this fine? “Mr. Boateng quizzed.

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Mr. Boateng was of the view that “this vending failure in its prepayment system doesn’t amount to poor performance or inefficiency on their side, adding that the PURC should have considered this situation.”

“It is not that the engineers or workers of the ECG are not doing their work well, explaining that “this is an unforeseen accident which had never happened in our system before,” he pointed out.

“This is not the case that someone is not delivering good services to its customers and that this is the first time we have had such an accident of vending failure in our prepayment system. This is pure accident and the PURC should have taken its time to listen to us for it [PURC] to look into what had brought these challenges,” the ECG communications director stressed.

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Mr. Boateng argued that the move by the PURC to rule on this case without having time to get their side of the ECG was completely against the rights of the company.

While sympathizing with the affected customers, he appealed to the PURC to rescind its decision to impose a fine on ECG.




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Source:  Daily Analyst



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