Electricity tariffs to go down in 2018 budget – Nana Addo

The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, has said that electricity tariffs will be reviewed downwards soon.

According to Nana Addo, details of the review will be announced by Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta at the 2018 budget reading in Parliament on Wednesday, November 15.

The high electricity tariffs were a major part of the New Patriotic Party (NPP)’s campaign ahead of the 2016 elections, with many of the party’s communicators claiming that electricity cost more than rent.

Speaking at the Association of Ghanaian Industries Awards (AGI) dinner on Saturday night, President Akufo Addo commended the ‘stars’ of his administration for the work they had done to ensure reliable power supply to Ghanaian citizens and businesses since his tenure commenced.

“I’m glad that businesses are no longer burdened by the erratic power supply that wrecked our nation in recent years. Dumsor, thank God, appears now to be the thing of an unlamented past. Another of the stars of the government, the Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko, is to be commended for the sterling work he’s been doing so far on this matter,” the President said.

“Furthermore, the government is moving to set in motion the process for the review of electricity tariffs and in the budget to be read by the brilliant Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta on Wednesday, I’m sure we will hear some good news in this regard.”

The Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko, had hinted of plans to review taxes on electricity to cushion Ghanaians in the budget back in September.

“On the budget, it is our faithful expectation that we should be able to reduce tariffs. We are getting a lot of corporation in so doing. So we believe that through this budget to the end of the year, we should be able to start bringing the prices down,” Agyarko said at the time.

Mr. Agyarko explained that, the government is working to stabilize the price by reducing waste in the power generation and distribution systems.

“When we set out, the commitment was that we need to correct two things. One was stabilizing power, so that we get the product that we are paying for. I believe that we have largely succeeded in stabilizing the supply of power”.

However, the Minority expressed doubt  about the government’s assurances, stating that the expectation of gas coming on stream to power thermal plants as a means of driving down electricity cost for the ordinary Ghanaian would not materialize.

“The fuel consumption in Ivory Coast is gas, so all other things being equal, the tariff will be low. In Ghana we are using gas as far as light crude oil, sometimes heavy fuel oil and at times diesel. So it is a matter of principle he should have stated first. He should have stated that henceforth, from this day, we are no more going to use other fuel, we are going to use the principle of Ivory Coast where the thermal plants are being powered by gas which is less expensive and therefore they have low tariff,”  the Minority Spokesperson on Mines and Energy, Adams Mutawakilu told Citi News.

By: Sammi Wiafe & Edwin Kwakofi/citifmonline.com/Ghana