Ghana will soon go dark at night as the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) is unable to raise adequate revenue from the current street light levy to build and maintain street lights in the country.
According to sources, contractors assigned to maintain street lights in the country, particularly ceremonial roads in Accra, are gearing up to abandon the projects due to failure in reimbursing them for a year now.
The contractors, who went for loans to undertake the projects are currently being chased by their bankers to pay for the facility.
The situation has compelled some contractors, who have run out of funds, to abandon the maintenance of street lights on some major roads in Accra.
Presently, electricity consumers in Ghana pay less than a pesewa (GH¢0.0001) every month as the street light levy, a charge engineers say is woefully inadequate to even maintain existing poles.
Annually, the ECG makes a total of GH¢80, 000 from the street light levy, a figure which, according to engineers cannot maintain street lights on a four kilometer road for six months.
The situation has resulted in ECG overrunning its budget to meet the street light demands of the nation. Checks by the Business Day have shown that the street light levy was last increased 20 years ago, in 1994.
Moves by the ECG to get the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum to amend the law to allow them increase the levy have been unsuccessful for the past six years.
Engineers told the Business Day that they are worried about the effect of total darkness on Ghana’s ceremonial roads as the festive season draws closer.
They pointed out that the situation, if not addressed immediately, could impact on crime and motor accidents in the coming weeks.
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