The Managing Editor of the Insight Newspaper Kwesi Pratt Junior says it is completely absurd to adjust upwards the tariffs on water and electricity despite the current economic hardships.
Although he acknowledges the rise in production cost he maintains the recent increase is unjustifiable arguing that consumers cannot afford the increment.
“These increases in tariffs do not provide any assurance that the fundamental problems leading to the increase in the tariffs will be stopped. In fact, they are growing. Even if we accept these increases in tariffs six months from now there have to be more increases in tariffs.”
“One year from now, there have to be more increases in tariffs. Where do we stop? Meanwhile, the earning capacity of industry and workers continue to come down. This is the deep crisis we find ourselves in,” Kwesi Pratt said on Good Morning Ghana on Metro TV.
He emphasises that “merely increasing tariffs does not solve the problem”
Mr. Pratt states that the constant increase in utility tariffs calls for new thinking and the cause of the fundamental non-conventional changes in the management of the national economy.
“The whole thing is madness; madness is responsible for our suffering. Somehow, we’ve to get leaders who will attempt to get out of this madness,” the veteran journalist told Dr. Randy Abbey on Wednesday, January 18, 2023.
The Public Utilities and Regulatory Commission increased electricity and water tariffs by 29.96% and 8.3% respectively on Monday.
The new rates take effect from February 1, 2023.
The increment follows the conclusion of its regulatory process for the quarterly adjustment of utility tariffs covering the first quarter of 2023. The Commission said the process is in conformity with the Quarterly Tariff Review Mechanism and Guidelines as communicated in the Commission’s August 2022 major tariff review decision.
This was contained in a press release issued in Accra on Monday.
In the statement signed by the Executive Secretary, Dr. Ishmael Ackah, the PURC approved the new tariffs very mindful of the current economic circumstances.
PURC said the potential for a return to the days of erratic power supply was also given due consideration as it would be “catastrophic for Ghana”.
“The Commission, therefore, decided to increase the average end-user tariff for electricity by 29.96% across the board for all consumer groups. The average end-user tarrif for water has also been increased by 8.3%. The Commission however approved varying rates of adjustments including some reductions for selected industrial and commercial consumers as part of the ongoing restructuring of the existing water rate structure,” the press release explained.
By: Bernard Ralph Adams | Metrotvonline.com | Ghana