The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has rejected a proposal by two Krobo groups to declare accumulated electricity bills owed by residents of Yilo and Manya Krobo municipalities as bad debt. According to ECG, such a proposal is not workable.
On Tuesday, December 14, this year, the Henge and Kloma Gbi youth groups of the Kroboland issued a joint statement to ECG to declare accumulated electricity bills of customers in the area from 2014 to 2017 as bad debt, or ring-fence it up to July 2021, to clean the slate for a fresh start.
To them, their proposal is the way forward to bring an end to the current impasse between ECG and the two municipalities.
The groups explained that “facts remain that between 2018 till today (during which ECG either failed to distribute bills or had difficulty doing so), many tenants changed homes and the difficulty landlords will face in getting these tenants who have moved out to pay such old bills could derail efforts geared toward finding a lasting solution to the challenge at hand.
“In our estimation, these proposals are practical ones that will get people back to paying their bills and solving the problem once and for all. This is more like saying we can and have to make some sacrifices now, to safeguard the future,” they argued.
However, at a news conference at Somanya, capital of the Yilo Krobo Municipality last week, Thursday, the Managing Director (MD) of ECG, Kwame Agyeman-Budu said his outfit has had several engagements with stakeholders in the two Krobo municipalities and has continued to stress the need for those indebted to ECG to pay their bills.
“Whereas some customers see the need to sustain ECG as a national asset by paying their accumulated bills, others are not paying because they think the power consumed must be free,” the MD explained.
Touching on steps being taken to resolve the current impasse, Mr Agyeman-Budu said ECG had since Monday deployed a team that is currently visiting the premises of all customers in the Lower Manya Krobo and Yilo Krobo to undertake the meter reading, to enable ECG to produce the current bills.
That would enable ECG to generate relevant customer statements for the affected periods, carry out pre-installation surveys to capture technical data in preparation for the introduction of prepaid meters, as well as to conduct technical inspections to assure the integrity of ECG’s energy meters within the premises of customers.
He said after the successful reading of the meters, customers would receive their current bills in January 2022 for prompt payment.
“Attached to the bills will be their statements, clearly showing all the necessary transactions from 2018 to date,” the ECG MD noted.
In concluding, he said ECG staff would be stationed at their offices at Somanya, Nuaso, Juapong and other vantage locations to assist customers with the value of their indebtedness and the flexible terms of payment.