The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has held stakeholders engagement with the customers in the Lower Manya Krobo Municipality for the installation of prepaid metres.
This is to resolve the impasse that has been raging on for a few years now leading to power outage for one week in December last year.
The stakeholders’ engagement held at Odumase-Krobo and Somanya brought together high ranking management staff of the company from both Tema and the head office of the company, youth groups, opinion leaders and other well-recognised organisations in the municipality.
The meeting discussed, among other things, the overview of ongoing commercial activities, a roadmap for implementation of prepaid metres, communication and customer education campaign and other related issues to resolve the impasse once and for all.
The Director of Customer Services of the company, Mr Anokye Abebrese, said after management had considered issues that brought about the ECG/Krobo District impasse, the only way to resolve the issue once and for all to bring lasting peace between the company and the customers within the Krobo District was the introduction of prepaid metres as was done in other areas.
He explained that in the operation of ECG, all Category ‘A’ districts fell under prepaid metres of which the Krobo District of the company qualified.
He explained that the old bills for the power consumed by customers from 2018 to 2021 were ready for distribution/collection for payments at the EGG’s offices at Somanya and Odumase-Krobo.
He said customers had the chance and opportunity to negotiate with the company for payment in installments.
He, however, said payment for 2022 starting from January must be paid promptly as it had nothing to do with the old bills that brought about the impasse.
Mr Abebrese added that the company would not put the accumulated debt from 2018 to 2021 on the prepaid metres, even though customers had to pay.
‘‘Any customer, who is issued with prepaid metre, must start enjoying fully, provided the customer buys prepaid credit’, he concluded.
The Energy Consultant and Director of Telco Services of the ECG, Mr Theophilus Asante Darko, emphasised that the company and the Krobo community impasse, which had raged on for a few years now leading to black out in the area in December last year, would be a thing of the past, if the company introduced prepaid metres to the customers.
Public education campaign
The General Manager of the Public Relations Unit of the ECG, Mrs Theresa Osabutey, assured customers in the district that the communication directorate of the company had designed communication campaigns including media engagements, panel discussions on radio, community education and public announcements, to ensure the customers understood what the prepaid metres entailed before they would start implementing them.
The customers in the municipality, in response, embraced the prepaid metre idea in order to lay the impasse to rest.
They, however, appealed for an extension for the payment of the old bills from 2018 to 2021 to four years instead of the two years the company proposed in order to cushion them due to the economic hardships they were facing.