The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has disconnected power to about 20 manufacturing companies in Tema for owing the company in excess of about 38 million cedis.
The move forms part of a strategy adopted by the Power Ministry to reinforce the debt management processes of the ECG in a bid to improve the country’s power sector.
A task force comprising officials from the various utility companies is embarking on this operation to retrieve all debts owed by the Special Load Tariff (SLT) customers of ECG.
Citi Business News understands over 350 companies including Special, and Western Steel owe the ECG 11 and 2.5 million cedis respectively.
A Communications Officer at the Power Ministry, Macintosh Essuman Aidoo tells Citi Business News he is optimistic the operation will be successful as some defaulters have willingly commenced settling their debts.
“We have flushed 350; and out of that, 20 have been visited by the task force and the monies they owe ECG is about 38 million cedis… Special Steel Company Ltd owes 11 million cedis; Western Steel Forging owes about 2.5 million cedis; Haya Company owes 310,000 cedis; Miroc owes over 500,000 cedis.” He stated.
Mr. Aidoo further observed, “We have even started seeing improvement because some of the debtors have started approaching ECG, even though we have not been to their companies. So I am sure they had a hint from other companies who have also defaulted.”
Clamp down on ‘exiting defaulters’
Meanwhile the Ministry of Power has disclosed to Citi Business News it has intensified efforts to foil attempts by the owner of one of the defaulting special load tariff customers of ECG, to exit the country.
The company is one of the 20 companies in Tema that the ECG has disconnected for owing in excess of 38 million cedis.
Confirming the tightened security stance to Citi Business News, Mr. Aidoo insisted that the development will not frustrate the process to retrieve all debts owed the ECG.
“We have picked intelligence that the owner of one of the companies who is owing the ECG, an expatriate, whose company is owing huge sums of money was trying to leave the country so we quickly arranged with the security agency to be on guard to ensure that he does not leave the country until he settles the debt he owes the ECG.”
He added, “We are also extending a warning to the other owners owing the ECG and planning to leave the country. We have given the list out to the security agency who are monitoring their activities to ensure they do not leave town.”
Huge debts owed the ECG have impacted heavily on the operations of the utility provider as it has been unable to settle debts owed the VRA.
Aside the illegal connections and commercial operators whose debts have accumulated over the years, the ECG has also been faced with the challenge of retrieving debts owed by the state through accumulated debts of government ministries, departments and agencies.
By: Pius Amihere Eduku/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana