The Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) says government must absorb the tariff increases announced by the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) yesterday.
The cost of electricity from today is up by 6.54 percent while that of water has been increased by 4.54 percent.
The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission says the increase in electricity tariff is driven by a shift in the generation and fuel mix of the dependence on crude oil due to challenges being faced with the erratic supply of gas from the West Africa gas pipeline in Nigeria.
As well as the low volumes of water both in the Akosombo and Kpong Hydroelectric dams.
The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission however says though water tariff will go up by 4.54% this will not be passed on to the consumer because of the poor quality service delivery being meted out by the Ghana Water company.
Speaking to Citi Business News the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry Mark Badu – Aboagye said the increment must not be applied since it will compound the problems its members face and cripple the private sector.
“This increment is going to compound the problem, already we are facing high cost of production and any addition or extra cost, will make things worse for the private sector and the chamber.”
I think the private sector will appreciate it if government can absorb the increment for now which will give some sort of respite to the private sector and the production sector since further increases will destabilize activities of the private sector, Mr Badu – Aboagye said.
Meanwhile the increment has generated mixed reactions from the general public and some business owners.
Some Small and Medium size Enterprise owners who spoke to Citi Business News shared their frustration saying the increment was unnecessary.
“Day in day out the lights keeps going off and now there is an increment, it is telling me as a business owner to do illegal connection.” – A business man lamented.
“I feel terrible because we are hanging in there by the thread, for the past seven months my electricity has gone up by about forty five percent which is killing my business.” – Another business woman lamented.
Some business owners blamed government for the current load shedding saying the situation is due to lack of good management practices and lack of good understanding by government officials and the utility providers of how to solve the power situation.
By: Norvan Acquah Hayford/citifmonline.com/Ghana