PURC threatens to sanction ECG over suspension of services...

The Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC) has threatened “sanctions and penalties” on the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) if it fails to restore services to customers.

A statement signed by the Director of Public Relations, Nana Yaa Akyempim Jantuah says the “distribution of electricity is an essential service” hence no Ghanaian should be denied that service.

It further said any attempt by ECG to deny Ghanaians access to electricity which is critical amounts to an outright breach of the Electricity Supply and Distribution (Technical and Operational) Rules 2005 (LI 1816).

The LI states “The Supplier shall ensure that facilities for the purchase of units for prepayment meters are available at all its customer service centers between the hours of 8.00am to 5.00pm each working day.”

Workers of the nation’s power distributor suspended services in their offices across the country Friday as part of activities to protest the privatization of the company.

The workers last week suspended services for three hours of each working day for three days.

Customers who went to offices of the ECG to buy credits were left disappointed as offices were closed to them.

Joy News’ Ackah Blay who visited the premises of the Accra East Regional office reported that the entrance has been locked with red fabric hanging around it.

Also, an attempt by the acting Power Minister, Seth Terkper, to have the issue resolved ended inconclusively.

National Secretary of the Senior Staff of ECG, Patrick Binyemi, has said they are not on strike but are rather protesting the sale of the national asset.

“We want things to be done right [because] we are citizens of Ghana and if things are going wrong posterity will judge us so it is in the interest of Ghanaians for us to resist the sale of ECG,” he said.

Speaking on Joy FM’s Top Story programme, Nana Yaa Jantuah described the current labour unrest in the ECG as “unfortunate situation” but added customers do not have to bear the brunt for the agitation.

“Consumers are queuing at private vending points who have a quota and will be running out of credit what is ECG doing to address the situation?” she quizzed.

According to her, PURC is concerned about the effect of the labour unrest on the customers, adding, they have written to the management of ECG to, with immediate effect, restore services to Ghanaians.