Editorial: ECG must treat Krobo power issue with care

The entire Kroboland in the Eastern Region has been plunged into total darkness by the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), following the accusation that some residents have tampered with the company’s system.

The ECG, which recently, with the aid of the military installed prepaid meters on buildings, cut off power supply at about 10:30pm on Wednesday, June 27, 2022.

Although the decision has received several condemnation from a section of the public, as it is the second time since December 2021 that the ECG has disconnected Krobo land from the national grid on a similar charge.

No matter how one looks at the situation, attitudes such as illegal connection and tampering with ECG metering system should not be tolerated or countenanced. The challenge with illegal connection goes beyond denying faltering customers lights to their homes or workplaces, but comes at a huge cost to the nation.

From January to April 2022 alone, the ECG was said to have lost close to GH¢400 million to power theft. The situation has not been different in the previous years, for which the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) estimates that the ECG loses not less than GH¢1.3 billion to illegal connection annually.

Meanwhile, ECG needs every little drop of its revenue to procure equipment and provide the best of service required to meet Ghana’s developmental agendas and aspirations.

Notwithstanding the poor conduct of some of the residents who the ECG has tagged as saboteurs, and deserve all the condemnation they require, it is also the opinion of The Chronicle that this wholesale kind of punishment cannot be encouraged. What the ECG has done is a clear case of “children being made to pay for the sins of their fathers.”

The ECG has the mandate to strengthen the use of evaluation for greater effectiveness and accountability. It also has the responsibility to provide quality, reliable and safe electricity services to support the socio-economic growth and development of Ghana.

The ECG has every right to cause the arrest and prosecute of recalcitrant customers who temper with their metering system. Our advice is for the ECG to single out the perpetrators in the Krobo issue and punish them individually instead of this wholesale punishment.

The ECG should be giving us data on how many illegal connections it has recorded in Kroboland and the percentage of compliances. But as we speak, Agomanya, Ablotsi, Agormanor, Agbom, Yohe, Yokuenor, Aansey, Saisi, Nuaso Old Town and parts of Kpongunor are all without power. We shudder to believe that all the residents in the above mentioned towns are guilty and not even one person is innocent.

There are businesses and health facilities that depend on ECG power supply to operate. In fact, we are in a century that access to electricity has become a human right and a developmental requirement.

The Chronicle will like to repeat that it does not support any act of social deviance just as it will not encourage any act of wholesale punishment. The ECG must, therefore, look for better solutions to the problem.


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