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Tread cautiously with electricity tariffs cut – IMANI warns gov’t

IMANI Africa President, Franklin Cudjoe.

The Akufo-Addo government has been asked to tread cautiously with the proposed review of electricity tariffs.

Speaking on Citi FM’s news analysis programme ‘The Big Issue’ on Saturday, President of policy think tank, IMANI Ghana, Franklin Cudjoe, said although reduction in electricity tariffs “is a good thing, we must be very cautious.”

The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, while presenting the 2018 budget statement to Parliament last Wednesday, said government has recommended to the Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC) a review of electricity tariffs by between 13 and 21 percent.

But according to Franklin Cudjoe, government must make sure the review does not adversely affect Ghana’s debt profiling of the energy sector.

“There is a debt profiling known as ESLA in place, and we ought to be careful because we are not out of the woods yet, when it comes to our generating capacity. The fact that some persons do not pay the tariffs on time, the fact that there are technical and commercial losses, this may as well affect the debt restructuring procedure,” he added.

Government in the past subsidized electricity tariffs aimed at cushioning businesses and domestic consumers following intense pressure from the public.

Some had described the tariffs as “killer tariffs.” Meanwhile, the subsidy cost government millions of Ghana cedis.

By: Farida Yusif/citifmonline.com/Ghana

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