Since coming into office the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government has reduced the cost of electricity, compared to what the National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration did, Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia
Dr Bawumia was commenting on the upward adjustments in water and electricity tariffs as announced by the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) in a statement on Monday 30th September, 2019.
The PURC’s statement signed by Mami Dufie Ofori, Executive Secretary said: “Following a review of Electricity and Water tariffs for the fourth quarter 2019 which is from October – December 2019, the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission wishes to announce for the information of consumers of electricity and water that there has been an upward adjustment in the existing tariffs. The increase is 5.94% for electricity tariffs and 2.22% on water tariffs across board for all customer categories effective October 1, 2019.
“The Automatic Adjustment Formula (AAF) is a tariff mechanism that seeks to track and incorporate movement in key determining factors to reflect the real cost of electricity and water quarterly.
“The following factors were considered in computing he automatic adjustment formula: Ghana Cedi-US dollar Exchange rate, Inflation, Price of crude and natural gas, Fuel mix (crude, oil and natural gas, Generation mix (hydro and thermal), Power purchase cost, Electricity cost (a major cost component in water production)”
The increment has however, attracted flak from the Member of Parliament for Yapei Kusawgu, John Jinapor, who accused the PURC of shrouding its operations in secrecy.
Speaking to Accra-based Joy FM on Tuesday October 1, Mr Jinapor said : “This is not tenable because the Monetary Policy Committee which is the custodian of, or, is the official source when it comes to the exchange rate determination at the Bank of Ghana indicated that the cedi has been stable.
“When you issue a political statement and just say that you increased it by 4.94 and you expect that we should swallow that hook, line and sinker, it begs the issue.
“This is the same PURC that is creating this mess for us. I will plead that we interrogate this matter. The people of Ghana determine where we move as a country and so the PURC cannot be that opaque, they ought to be transparent, they ought to be accountable to the people of Ghana.”
But Dr Bawumia said at the launch of the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) at the Bank of Ghana (BoG) Auditorium at the University of Ghana (UG) on Wednesday, 2 October 2019 that: “Between 2013 and 2016, just the last four years of the NDC government, the cumulative increase in electricity tariff was 166%”.
Dr Bawumia said that in line with the Akufo-Addo government’s agenda to create jobs, the administration has embarked on moves to cut electricity tariff to spur more employment.
According to him, “In 2018, we [NPP] reduced electricity prices of businesses by 30% and for households by 17.5 %, an average of around 22%.”
“Earlier this year in July, there was an increase of electricity price of 11% and yesterday of 5.6%. When you take the total cumulative increase on average, as I said, between 2017 and today, you have a cumulative decrease of about 5%”.
He continued: “So, the NDC, in their last four years, increased [electricity tariff] by 166%, we have come down since we have been in government by 5% on average”.
This, Dr Bawumia said, far outweighs the performance of the Mahama administration.