AGI cry for help from government over utility tariff increment

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The recent spike in the country’s operating costs is killing off entrepreneurs, according to the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), who are urging the government and the PURC to find ways to protect them.

Mr. Akwasi Nyamekye, chairman of the AGI for the Ashanti, Bono, Bono East, and Ahafo regions, said during an interview on Otec fm’s morning program Nyansapo with Captain Koda that it appears that various governments have not properly laid out a policy for Ghanaian industry, which is affecting the establishment and growth of industries.

The CEO of Vesta Oil Mills responded to the recently announced electricity tariff hike by describing it as an additional hardship on business owners because it will raise their production costs.

He claims that businesses and industries are already struggling due to the high cost of production at the moment, so any further increase in tariffs would be a serious blow to them.

However, Mr. Nyamekye asked the AGI’s members to look for other options that would help them lower manufacturing costs.

On September 1, 2022, the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) will enact new tariffs.

Electricity and water rates are anticipated to increase by 27.15% and 21.55%, respectively.

In the aforementioned release, the PURC acknowledged the financial challenges that consumers were facing, but added that without these price hikes, the utility suppliers might not be able to fulfill their purpose.

“In balancing interests of the service providers and consumers, the PURC acknowledged that the very economic variables that have occasioned the steep increases proposed by the service providers also affect the consumers.

The Commission did concede that some utility price hikes were unavoidable if the country was to avoid another power crisis and all of its consequences, including job losses.

On August 15, 2022, the Chairman of the PURC, Mr. Ebo Quagraine, addressed journalists in Accra and urged the public to help utility firms recover losses by reporting unauthorized connections.

The ECG had suggested raising its charges by 148% in 2022 and by an average of 7.6% throughout the years 2023 to 2026.

Source: Ghanatodayonline.com

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