Photo credit: Daily Guide

The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) says it cannot work with the proposal by the Krobo Groups to declare the over eight years disputed accumulated bills as bad debt.

According to the ECG, it cannot ring-fence debt from 2014 to 2021 as demanded by the Krobo Associations as it can only ring-fence from 2014 to 2017 for further action.

The two major groups in the Krobo areas of the Eastern Region, Kloma Hengme and Kloma Gbi made a fresh demand to ECG just 24 hours after power restoration to the Yilo Krobo and Manya Krobo Municipalities after seven days of living in darkness that they want the over eight years disputed accumulated bills absorbed or declared as bad debt.

They believe it is the surest way to make headway and restore peace between the Krobos and ECG.

However, addressing a press conference to inform their customers, the general public and the media of the roadmap that ECG has adopted to bring lasting peace between the Company and its customers within the Lower Manya Krobo and Yilo Krobo communities on Thursday, December 16, 2021, Managing Director of ECG, Kwame Agyeman-Budu, said “while ECG’s position is to ring-fence the 2014 – 2017 debt for further action, the Associations in their release, proposed a ring-fencing of up to July 2021. The proposal of the Associations is not workable.”

He continued that “We have had several engagements with our stakeholders in the Krobo district and have continually stressed the need for those indebted to ECG to pay their bills. Whereas some customers see the need to sustain ECG as a national asset by paying their accumulated bills, others are not paying because they think the power consumed must be free. This attitude may be due to an alleged MoU between Kwame Nkrumah and Krobo elders exempting Krobos from paying electricity bills. The Krobo Chiefs and other prominent Krobo citizens have debunked this fallacy.”

Mr Agyemang-Budi explained that the power outage experienced in the Krobo District last week was a result of technical challenges and as a preventive measure contrary to the misconception that the outage experienced was to punish faithful customers for the wrongs of a few.

“When we re-located operations to Juapong, we made mention of the fact that we will need security escorts to maintain the system or repair faults in the Krobo area because of their threats. Unfortunately, within that period we lost two transformers. After a diagnosis of the event that led to the loss of these transformers, we discovered that some unauthorised person(s) transferred load from a transformer that was down due to an overload, to an adjacent transformer which eventually got overloaded too. This means that we lost two transformers due to the actions of some faceless persons. In order to save lives and property, we had no option than to isolate the feeders serving the area,” he explained.