Award-winning Ghanaian journalist, Michael Creg Afful, has asked Ghanaians to give a second look to the calls for the government to give a three-month waiver on electricity bills following the outbreak of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo recently announced that his government has absorbed water bills of all Ghanaians for three months, i.e. April, May and June.
Although the intervention has warmly been received by the general public, some are still praying the government to equally announce free electricity in the West African nation.
But in a lengthy writeup to react to the issue, Michael Creg Afful, who is specialised in energy reporting, said he was yet to be informed if any government has ever provided free electricity for its citizens since the outbreak of the pandemic.
In his argument, the editor of Energynewsafrica.com said, on account of COVID-19, Ghanaians should not suddenly be blinded about the power challenges the country has witnessed in the past and in recent times.
According to the 2019 Best Energy Reporter, "Government is owing independent power producers (IPPs) almost GHS1.3billion. ECG alone owe GRIDCo GHS800million and they are struggling to pay. Valco was recently disconnected by GRIDCo for similar thing".
In Creg's opinion, making electricity free in Ghana will end in a complete mess. He explained that the government may decide to make it free today but it will find a way to let the citizens pay at a later date.
Below is full write-up:
Since NADAA announced free water for Ghanaians beginning this month to June we have witnessed quiet number of people including FORMER PRESIDENT JOHN MAHAMA asking the president to do what in their considered opinion needful by announcing free electricity for Ghanaians. I'm yet to read any story or article of that sought where a President or government announced free electricity for citizens of the countries hit by coronavirus.
As if COVID-19, has suddenly blinded all of us about the power challenges we witnessed in the past and quiet recently. As we speak, Government is owing independent power producers (IPPs) almost GHS1.3billion. ECG alone owe GRIDCo GHS800million and they are struggling to pay. Valco was recently disconnected by GRIDCo for similar thing.
We're enjoying stable power because the IPPs are humans and wouldn't want to deny us power in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The state as well as the IPPs continually are making investments into the power sector and these investments required money.
We should be measured in making unnecessary calls for electricity to be made free.
We should be mindful in the sense that GOVERNMENT may decide to make it free today but I can assure you that IT find a way to let you PAY Later.
A word to a wise is not in the NORTH ...It is in the bosom of Michael Creg Afful's piece. Shalom!
Editor of energynewsafrica.com
2019 Best Energy Reporter