A former deputy Minister of Power, John Abdulai Jinapor has said “the people of Ghana should resist any increment in electricity tariffs because it will be absurd and preposterous for PURC to tell Ghanaians they are increasing tariffs.
“Some of us will never agree today or tomorrow and I’m serving notice to them [PURC] that based on what they said last year, with the analysis they gave us, there is absolutely no justification for any increment”, he said on Adom FM’s current affairs show, Burning Issues on Monday January 14, 2019.
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His comments come on the back of demands made by the Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo) for an increment in tariff.
Manager of Marketing Operations at GRIDCo, Kofi Ntow had indicated earlier on the same show that the objective of the Tariff Proposal is to obtain a cost-reflective tariff that will ensure business viability and sustainability of GRIDCo to effectively manage and ensure security and reliability of a rapidly growing power transmission network.
Transmission Service Charge (TSC) was reduced in March 2018, creating liquidity challenges for GRIDCo to result in delays in the completion of some critical projects earmarked to improve power transmission capacity and reduce transmission losses.
Significant among them is the 330kV Aboadze-Kumasi-Tamale-Bolgatanga transmission line.
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Nonetheless, Mr Jinapor who is also a Member of the Mines and Energy Committee of Parliament said the major variable for the increment which is fuel should no more be a basis since light crude oil has been substituted with gas to mean about 40 percent of the cost is being saved automatically by the power producers and transmitters.
He further indicated that the sector minister came to Parliament asking the House to exempt them from paying for the cost of the gas which is in paragraph 335 of the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of 2019, page 78 and quoted as follows,
“Mr Speaker, the Ministry is proposing to this august House to allow it to exclude gas revenue to the tune of $181 million from the projected petroleum revenues for 2019”.
“The Minister brought it and we approved it so if you are not paying for the fuel you are buying, why should there be an increment in tariffs? We will not approve this today or tomorrow”, he maintained.
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Meanwhile, the Vice Chair of the Mines and Energy Committee, George Mireku Duker responding to the issues on the same show averred government will not do anything to bring hardship to Ghanaians.
He also assured that his Committee will meet the Public Utility and Regulatory Commission (PURC) to justify the demands by GRIDCo but couldn’t state emphatically whether there is going to be an increment or not.