The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has said it will not rescind its earlier decision to have the Krobo District Office closed, despite intervention by some authorities in the area.
The Company has since December 1 closed its office at Somanya over threats on the lives of staff by some aggrieved customers who demonstrated last month.
ECG has been at the receiving end of agitations from customers in the last four years due to billing anomalies, accumulated bills, and others.
Speaking at a media briefing at Somanya, the Managing Director of ECG, Kwame Agyeman-Budu, said the safety of staff remains paramount.
“The Yilo Krobo and Lower Manya Krobo chiefs, Parliamentarians, among others engaged ECG management in Accra and made a passionate appeal for the company to reopen and resume full operation from the Somanya office,” he said.
He explained that the decision to resume full operations in the area depends on security agencies’ advice and will not compromise staff safety.
Aside from threats on the lives of staff, ECG responded to some pertinent issues raised by two groups – Kloma Hengme and Kloma Gbi – in a joint statement last Tuesday in relation to ring-fencing of debt.
According to Mr Agyeman-Budu, a proposal by the groups to ring-fence debt from 2014 to 2021 is not workable.
He indicated that going by the proposal was not sustainable and will not make it a viable entity.
On the shooting incident leading to the death of a resident, Thomas Partey and maiming of others in 2019, ECG commiserated with the families but asked the groups to engage the police to investigate and close the chapter on it.
The power distributor debunked claims that it had started deploying prepaid meters in the Krobo enclave, as the groups portrayed in their joint statement.
The Company made it clear that it is in its budget to introduce prepaid meters in the area as done elsewhere, a corporate policy endorsed by the Energy Ministry and the Public Utilities and Regulatory Commission ( PURC) but will engage customers before the introduction.
Kwame Agyeman-Budu was unhappy as concerned groups misinformed the public about outages experienced in the area last week.
“In our announcement that followed the outage, we explained that it was due to technical challenge and preventive measure and not a means to punish faithful customers for the wrongs of a few,” Mr Agyeman-Budu said.
Having restored power, ECG is back to the enclave under police escort to read meter to generate current bills, pre-installation survey, and technical inspection of meters.
Upon completion of the exercise, customers will receive their bills in January 2022 with an attached transaction statement.
ECG said staff will be stationed at Somanya, Nuaso, Juapong, among some vantage points to help customers regarding their indebtedness and flexible terms of payment.
Mr Agyeman-Budu was grateful to both traditional and political authorities, youth groups and other stakeholders for their support.
To allay the fears of ECG, the Municipal Chief Executive for Yilo Krobo, Eric Tetteh, assured the Company that steps are being taken to address the security situation.
“We had a joint Municipal Security Council meeting where my colleague from Lower Manya and I concluded that we cannot sit down for a group of people to threaten ECG staff. We don’t know who will be next,” he said.
Meanwhile, despite this assurance, Tema South District Engineer, Christopher Apawu, who doubles as Senior Staff Union Chair in the region, made it clear that using armed police for their duties only shows how dire the situation is.
ECG management from the Tema region, head office and representative of PURC were in attendance.
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