Executive Director of think-tank, Africa Center for Energy Policy (ACEP), Mr. Ben Boakye, has asked the public to brace for hikes in electricity tariffs this year.
In a radio interview monitored by WhatsUp News, he explains that 2021 is a major tariff review year and because the government is broke and ease its supposed subsidies in the energy sector.
The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission, he said will soon announce the new tariffs. “this is a major tariff review year… It’s a guarantee that tariffs will go up significantly. If it doesn’t go up, then the government needs to raise the money to support the power sector. It is a very worrying situation and that is why we need to improve the system.”
Mr. Boakye also adlibbed sentiments that the country is headed for a major power crisis with the sector being swallowed by unpaid debts, mainly from State agencies.
“If you track the trips across the country, we are heading towards a crisis situation. And I am happy that they are arranging to come out with a timetable that allows people to plan,” Mr. Ben Boakye said.
A report by the Auditor-General details the debt conundrum. It lists Enclave Power Company Limited as owing GRIDCo a little over ¢3 million, Electricity Company of Ghana’s debt is over ¢1 million, Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCo), ¢63 million.
According to the report, the Bui Power Authority owes GRIDCo more than ¢4 million with the Volta Aluminium Company Limited also owing over ¢15 million.
Others including Great Consolidated Diamonds and Free Zones Board also owe GRIDCo. All in all more than ¢230 million is owed GRIDCo.
Mr. Boakye warned that the permutations indicate that the government will call on Ghanaians to pay through the nose. “If we don’t fix it now, we are going to be called upon to pay. If we had fixed it before PDS and all the saga, we wouldn’t be asked to pay 20p today on a litre of petrol,” he said.
He also blamed political interference for the poor management of the power sector, asking the government to get out of the power sector and leave it for experts to manage it.