The Electricity Company of Ghana, ECG, has revealed that it is lobbying Parliament to pass a law that will make non-payment of electricity bills illegal and liable for prosecution.
According to ECG, Ghana has about 85% electricity penetration rate but the nonpayment of Electricity bills by consumers continues to suffocate the power distributor hence the move to criminalize nonpayment of electricity bills.
As it stands now, ECG has no law backing it to prosecute consumers who fail to pay bills therefore the extreme action the company could apply is to disconnect power to the consumer. But, this method has not been very effective over the years for the company to recoup its debts.
At the annual media encounter in Koforidua instituted by ECG today, the Eastern Regional Manager of ECG, Ing Michael Baah stated that the ECG is making moves to criminalize nonpayment of electricity bills
“So we are now lobbying Parliament to pass a Law, making nonpayment of electricity a crime as it’s happening in Francophone countries. In Ivory Coast, you dare not renege on your responsibility to pay bills. if you do that they will arrest you. When you go to Togo the same thing, if you don’t pay electricity they will arrest and you will pay penalty and interest. We are lobbying parliament to pass a similar law”.
Ing. Micheal Baah bemoaned the company's inability to break even due to the nonpayment of power consumed making it difficult to have strong financial muscles to operate with optimum efficiency.
He added that the overall effect is that the government has to continuously invest huge sums of money in the company which could have been used in other sectors.
He also said: “Prepaid is quite expensive. If you send prepaid to our rural areas, there is no way you can recoup the capital”.
Ing Micheal Baah further appealed to the media to partner ECG to educate the public on the need to pay their bills on time.