The Managing News Editor of the Insight Newspaper Kwesi Pratt has questioned the grounds for the Volta Aluminium Company (VALCO) to be provided with free electricity when the company is not living up to expectation.

In the wake of the recent increase in electricity tariffs, he said it was totally unacceptable for VALCO to be supplied with free electricity while ordinary consumers are being made to pay outrageous high prices for the little electricity they utilise.

VALCO consumes about 40 percent of the nation's electricity supply.

But speaking on Radio Gold’s ‘Alhaji Alhaji’ programme, Mr Pratt said he is highly disappointed in the Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC) for allowing the free supply of electricity to VALCO when the company has nothing to show for it.

“I do not understand why the PURC will increase electricity tariffs while VALCO is given electricity for free, I am highly disappointed in the PURC,” he said.

The PURC has reviewed upwards electricity tariffs by 6.54 percent, while that of water has been increased by 4.54 percent.

The Ghana Water Company will however not be able to charge the new rates until certain challenges have been resolved.

The PURC indicated that the price increases were necessitated by challenges of erratic supply of gas form Nigeria.

It also indicated that the tariff increase was to help manage the impact of the current situation of high dependence on crude oil in the generation mix for electricity supply in the country.

But Mr Pratt requested that VALCO be shut down because it contributes nothing to the economy.

He said the Automatic Adjustment Formula adopted by the country to determine utility prices should also be scrapped.

“It simply does not make sense that as Ghanaians we have decided to adopt Automatic Adjustment Formula where every three months utility prices are increased. No country does this”.

He blamed public officials for not living up to the tasks of solving the country's problems for which they were put in public offices.

He said governments over the years have failed to protect the ordinary Ghanaian and urged government to "sit up, stop giving excuses and do the work they were voted in office to do".

Mr. Pratt intimated that people are gradually losing confidence in the gorvernment. Government, he says, must ensure that the inefficiencies within the public sector are dealt with, to instill some confidence in them by the Ghanaian populace. 

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