The sale of pre-paid metres to applicants is illegal, an official of the Volta River Authority (VRA) has declared.
The general public has, therefore, been advised to report anyone involved in that illegal act to report to the customer complaints section of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), the VRA or the Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCo) for the arrest and prosecution of persons involved.
The VRA official made the declaration in response to a question at a day’s public hearing organized by the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) for the Brong-Ahafo and Upper West Regions in Sunyani.
The questioner, one Mr. Bright Obeng from Nsawkaw in the Tain District of Brong-Ahafo wanted to know whether pre-paid metres were officially for sale, as had been the practice at some offices of the Authority in the region.
Interestingly the question brought the packed-to-capacity spacious Sunyani Polytechnic auditorium to a spontaneous applause, implying that the question was in the interest of the participants.
Carried away by the extent of participants’ spontaneous cheers that greeted the question, the VRA official asked the questioner or other participants who had ever been victims, to step forward to justify or prove the allegation, but no one came forward.
The objective of the public hearing was for the Commission to seek views from the general public about the requests by the VRA and Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL), to increase tariffs to ensure quality service delivery.
The PURC team led by its Chairman, Dr. Emmanuel Annan, had on a nation-wide tour been to Kumasi for a similar forum.
Participants were from the Ghana Beauticians and Hairdressers Association, Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), Ghana National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Civil and Local Government Staff Association of Ghana (CLOSAG), and other identifiable groups.
Dr. Annan explained that the Commission had the mandate to ensure the development and delivery of the highest quality of utility services to consumers by the ECGL and GWCL.
Messrs Joseph Adoko, Obed Essandoh, Thomas Nagala and Kwadwo Anin of VRA, GRIDCo, NEDCo and GWCL, made presentations on behalf of their respective companies.
They expressed gratitude to consumers for the 2013 tariff increase, saying it helped those organizations to expand their services and improve the lives of end users.
The service providers, however, said there was still more room for improvement of their services, and therefore appealed to participants to allow PURC to approve new increase of tariffs for them to purchase the necessary equipment and materials to expand their operations and deliver to the expectation of consumers.