The Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG) has expressed regret about the inability of the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) to review utility tariffs downwards in spite of the presidential directive and continuous call by civil society and trade unions for the tariffs to be reviewed downward.

At a press conference in Accra Wednesday, a member of the AFAG, Mr Abu Ramadan, described the decision by PURC as “defiant, unfortunate and one, daring enough to elicit a sustained embarrassment to the government”.

He argued that if the PURC justified the increase in tariffs based upon the levels of depreciation of the cedi and the average inflation rate, there was no justification for the tariff increases as inflation kept dropping.

Mr Ramadan further noted that such increases in utility tariffs must be commensurate with good services, adding that the increment had come at a time when the purchasing power of the Ghanaian was quickly eroding and the real value of the worker’s income was nothing to write home about.

“AFAG holds the opinion that the Ghanaian can no longer be burdened for the luxurious provisions, system inefficiencies and capital management flaws of the Volta River Authority (VRA).”

While commending the installation of pre-paid metres at the various MDAs,” Mr Ramadan called on the VRA to make public its 2009 audited financial statement to justify to Ghanaians the necessity of the increment.

In the interim however, Mr Ramadan called on the PURC to reduce the tariffs drastically in a matter of two weeks or be responsible, for the embarrassment its actions may bring to the government.

Mr Kwabena Bomfeh said if the government and MDAs would pay off their indebtedness to the utility service providers, the PURC would have no reason to increase tariffs.

Source: Daily Graphic