Editorial: ECG and NEDCo need our support if they must survive

It will be recalled that last month the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) undertook a massive disconnection exercise to recover some GH¢5.7 billion debt owed it. The exercise, which will last for a month, targets domestic users, businesses, organisations, ministries, departments and state agencies for power already consumed from 2022 to February this year.

The ECG temporarily closed down all its administrative offices to deploy its staff to be collectors on the field during the one-month period. Explaining the rationale for deploying all administrative staff to be collectors for the ECG, Mr. Samuel Mahama, said the debt situation had reached worrying levels, thus it had become important to ensure that it was improved to preserve the integrity of the company.

The exercise has not being in vain as ECG has made great efforts to recover some of its debts, for instance, to avoid being disconnected from the national grid, Parliament House immediately issued a cheque of $713,900 to settle part of its $1,091,847 debt to the ECG. The Ghana Airports Company Limited, managers of the main Kotoka International Airport in the capital, Accra, has also paid $2,351,671 as part payment of its undisclosed arrears when the taskforce stormed their premises to disconnect power to the airport. The leading steel manufacturing company in Ghana and West Africa, B5 Plus Group in the harbour city of Tema had to cough up $1.6m to clear its debt to also avoid total blackout.

In a related development, the Northern Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (NEDCo) has also announced that it will undertake a general revenue mobilisation exercise across its operational areas effective April 18, 2023. A statement by NEDCo management revealed that the exercise will affect all categories of customers in arrears, including State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs), Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), and Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies (MMDAs).

In the statement, NEDCo also mentioned that “recalcitrant customers” who refuse to settle their indebtedness after being served with demand notices would be arraigned, emphasizing that customers should pay their bills immediately to avoid disconnection and payment of reconnection penalties. NEDCo has called for cooperation from the public to ensure a successful exercise.

The Chronicle commends NEDCo for this initiative and we hope just like the ECG, they will go all out to recover their debts. This is at the back of the Ghana Grid Company Limited (GRIDCO) issuing a warning that the indebtedness of ECG and NEDCo was impacting negatively on their operations.

We, at The Chronicle, also urge the general public and government institutions which are indebted to the ECG and NEDCo to do their best to pay off their debts so that the two companies can pay GRIDCo to avoid power disconnection and inadequate power supply. The time to show patriotism is now!

While at this, officials should make sure that the right people are taken to collect the debt.
We conclude by urging all to cooperate for this exercise to be successful, bearing in mind that we can only serve you well when you pay your bills.


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