Nana Addo is asking government to reduce electricity tariffs with immediate effect.
Nana Addo, flag bearer of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), has called for an immediate reduction in electrify tariffs. His demand follows the recent directive given by the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission’s (PURC), to the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to suspend the implementation of their new billing software.
Nana Addo speaking in response to the directive, demanded that more should be done to alleviate the pressure brought on by the new tariffs. He is asking government to reduce electricity tariffs with immediate effect. Late last year, the PURC effected an increase of 59.2 percent and 67.2 percent for electricity and water tariffs respectively. These increments had raised protests among Ghanaians who went as far as demonstrating to show their displeasure with the sky-rocketed increase.
The NPP flagbearer has also come out to frown against the increments which has left many individuals and businesses in a frustrating situation. According to him, Ghana’s industry and economic activities are suffering unnecessarily, and government is to blame for that.
He described the major reason for the increment in tariff as the government’s “insatiable appetite for taxes”. He explained that, “10% energy levy which is charged for both domestic and commercial uses; a service charge of GH¢7 flat rate for every consumer and a VAT of 17½% for commercial users,” is quite too much for the common man.
Here is Nana Addo’s full statement
I have taken notice of today’s statement made by the PURC that the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) should suspend its billing system. I think the matter is more fundamental and should go further than that.
If you look at the rates we are charging, industry, as well as domestic users, for electricity in Ghana, compared, for instance, to Cote d’Ivoire, already, it puts our enterprises in a very uncompetitive comparison.
In Ghana, my understanding is that the tariff for commercial users is 32 US cents/kilowatt hour. The Ivorian equivalent is 13 US cents/kilowatt hour. Again, for domestic users, we are talking about 19.28 US cents/kilowatt hour, when Cote d’Ivoire equivalent is a tariff of 9 US cents/kilowatt hour. So, you put these things together, and, already, Ghanaian industry and economic activity are suffering unnecessarily.
A large part of it is due to the taxes, the insatiable appetite of the Mahama government for taxes – 10% energy levy which is charged for both domestic and commercial uses; a service charge of GH¢7 flat rate for every consumer and a VAT of 17½% for commercial users.
I believe all of these figures can be significantly reduced to be able to bring the electricity tariff system in our country to a much more competitive relationship with that of our neighbours and what is going on in the region. It is important for us to recognize in Ghana that, whatever we are doing, we are doing so in a globally competitive context, and if we don’t recognize that, many of the decisions we make about the management of our economy are going to put us at a disadvantage from the get go.
I am saying it is absolutely imperative and urgent that the public authorities find a way to reduce electricity tariffs in our country immediately and do so now.