The Electricity Company of Ghana has ignored a cabinet directive against cutting electricity to public educational and health institutions in Ghana and gone ahead to cut power to the Koforidua Polytechnic in the Eastern Region.
According to two separate letters dated 18th May, 2015 and 4th May, 2015 signed by the Minister for Power and Secretary to the Cabinet, Dr. Kwabena Donkor and Roger K. Angsomwine respectively, cabinet took note of the mass disconnection exercise embarked upon by the utility companies to recover all outstanding debts owed them by public sector institutions.
The letter from Cabinet reiterated that, all MDAs should take responsibility for the payment of utility consumed, but charged ECG to exempt public health and educational institutions from the disconnection exercise while these institutions adopt a comprehensive solution to the payment of utility bills.
The letter, copied to the Ag Managing Director of the Electricity Company of Ghana stated in the last paragraph that, the foregoing is for the strict compliance of ECG and NEDCO but does not stop them from installing prepaid meters on non-critical academic and health facilities nor demand payment for power used.
In spite of the directive, the ECG has disconnected power to the Koforidua Polytechnic in the Eastern region.
Our investigations have revealed that, the School owes ECG to the tune of about GHC 791, 412.69 and the average consumption by the School is about GHC 50,000.00 a month.
Mr. Nii Annang Mensah Livingston the Registrar of Koforidua Polytechnic disclosed that, government has banned the school from billing the students for utilities. The Ministry of Education has promised to absorb the utility bills till further notice.
‘We always attach a memo to the monthly bills and send them to the ministry of Education for subsequent payment, I do not understand why ECG should disconnect us,’ Nii Annang
He is worried about the spate at which the ECG has been disconnecting power to the school, adding that, their sister Polytechnics in the other regions are not witnessing this kind of treatment from the power suppliers.
‘As we speak now, we are doing admission, it will be difficult for us to continue the exercise in darkness, how do we work without light? The administration is the pivot of the school, how can the school run without administration?’ the registrar lamented
He called on government to call to order management of the Eastern Region Electricity Company of Ghana.
The Ag. Commercial Manager for the Eastern Regional branch of ECG, Mr. Emmanuel Sam disclosed in a telephone interview that, the cabinet directives didn’t ask them to exempt Public health and educational institutions entirely from being disconnected.
He indicated that, the directives asked them to exempt critical areas of such institutions but not the institutions generally.
He added that, ECG does not consider the administration block of the Polytechnic as a critical area of the institution.
‘This is the first face of the exercise, we will continue in the subsequent days to other departments of the school if they do not pay us our money,’ Emmanuel Sam stated.