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BRING RELIEF TO GHANAIANS - President charges PURC

General News

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has tasked the newly constituted board of the Public Utility Regulatory Commission to deliver efficient and cost effective utilities services to the Ghanaian people.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has tasked the newly constituted board of the Public Utility Regulatory Commission to deliver efficient and cost effective utilities services to the Ghanaian people.

 

The President recalled that, with the establishment of the PURC twenty years ago by an Act of Parliament, the Commission is mandated to regulate and oversee the provision of utility services by Public Utility Companies, particularly providers of electricity and water.

He also reminded the board that the Act enjoined them, among other things, to provide guidelines and rates chargeable for provision of utility services.

The President said this yesterday when he inaugurated the new board at the presidency.

According to President Nana Akufo-Addo, since the inception of the PURC, it has, through the development of regulations, tariffs setting guidelines and establishment of monitoring systems, contributed positively to the promotion and sustainability of competition evidenced in the introduction of private sector investment in utilities.

“Through this, the country has seen a remarkable improvement in accessibility to utility services,” he said.

However, he added that one of the most notable functions, as seen by Ghanaians to be effectively discharged by the PURC, has to do with the review of utility tariffs, “most often than not in an upward manner.”

He continued, “It appears that the other functions, primarily to do with the protection of the interest of consumers and the delivery of quality service by utility providers, have been largely shelved by the PURC. “

He said this perception must not continue and must change.

The President tasked the board that Ghanaians expect them to protect their interest as well.

He asked the board to ensure that if a public utility provider failed to meet certain standards, they were appropriately and duly sanctioned.

“The board has a duty to contribute to the development of a competitive energy sector to drive  the industrial  and economic development of our country and at the same time ensure that the ordinary  Ghanaian  has access to affordable and efficient energy ,” the President stated.

He stressed that government over the last ten month had ensured that the supply and distribution of electricity had improved.

The President disclosed that his government had successfully issued a GHC4.7 billion in seven and ten year bonds to settle a portion of the GHC10 billion debt inherited in the energy sector from the NDC government.

“It is our anticipation that the remaining debt will be settled by the end of the first quarter of 2018,” he assured.

The Executive Secretary of the PURC, Mami Dufie Ofori, and Daniel Ofosu Koranteng of the Trades Union Congress are some of the members on the board.

Others are Yaw Adu Gyamfi, Ebo B. Quagraine and Joe Amoako Tuffour, representing the AGI, the Consumer Protection Agency and as President’s Nominee respectively.

The remaining members are Ishmael Edjekumhene, Emmanuel Sekor and Dora Oppong, all the President’s nominees.

The Board is among others expected to help address some recent issues that border on workers’ resistance to the appointment of a Deputy Executive Secretary.

In addition, the Board would be required to work on government’s proposal to reduce tariffs for consumers of electricity as outlined in the 2018 budget statement.