President John Dramani Mahama has dismissed reports suggesting that government has introduced subsidies on electricity tariff.
According to him, the recent change in the country’s electricity billing system is “a realignment and not subsidy”.
“It is not a subsidy it is a realignment of the billing system that has made it possible to know how much you are spending on the electricity .The bills have been made more transparent so that you can tell with every unit you buy how much the value is,” he said.
His comment contradicts announcements made by the Deputy Minister of Power John Jinapor, and the Electricity Company Ghana (ECG) that government has introduced some level of subsidies to cushion Ghanaians from recent high electricity tariff.
Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show earlier this week, the Deputy Minister stated that “commercial and industrial users will enjoy some subsidy but they are in categories and bands.”
Also, the Public Relations Officer of ECG earlier confirmed to Citi Business News that government has introduced some level of subsidies but the move will not alter the current tariff structure approved by parliament last year.
However, speaking at this year’s Eid-ul Fitr celebration at the Black Star square, President Mahama stressed that the exercise is not an introduction of subsidy but a realignment of the billing system to enhance transparency and bring relief to Ghanaians.
According to him, the initiative will resolve the confusions that have emanated between electricity consumers and the ECG.
Touching on the relief the exercise will bring to Ghanaians, President Mahama assured that every customer will know and be able to ascertain the consumption of electricity on their own.
Recent demonstrations against ECG
Some customers of ECG in recent times have demonstrated against the ECG for what they described as over billing.
Some residents of Teshie, Nungua, and La in the Greater Accra region, as well as some residents in the Ashanti region have all demonstrated against the ECG.
Dr. Wereko Brobbey disagreed
Earlier, a former CEO of the VRA ,as well as a policy analyst, Dr Charles Wrekko Brobbey rejected claims made by government that it has introduced subsidies to cushion low level consumers of electricity.
Speaking to Citi Business News, he insisted that no subsidy has been introduced by government since the assertion at the time did not support the claim.
“It is not true; you are being charged VAT, energy levies, street light among others and those have gone up from almost 1 to about 5 percent…when you say you are subsidizing something, it means you are charging below how much it costs. But here is the case that you (government) are giving with the left hand, yet you are taking with the right,” he stated.
By: Lawrence Segbefia/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana