Lack of backup caused ECG’s prepaid troubles – IT analyst

An IT Analyst in Convergence Technology, Sam Sackey, has said the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) constantly failed to back-up its prepaid power system hence the current predicaments some of their customers are going through.

According to him, ECG would have long solved the problem if the back-ups were available.

ECG customers in some parts of Accra have slept in darkness for the past four days because they were unable to top-up their credits, with long queues being recorded at the vending stations.

Residents of Achimota, Kaneshie, Dansoman and Korle bu and surrounding areas have been the most affected by the problem.

Thousands of customers also massed up at the head office of ECG near the Kwame Nkrumah Circle in Accra in a bid to have their problems resolved.

Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show on Thursday, the IT analyst, Sam Sackey, said ECG will have a tough time getting the lost database back.

“It’s going to take them some time to resolve the problem because if they had a back-up, this would have taken just few hours for the restoration to be done. They only have to get the back-up servers online and everything else will be normal. But now the servers can be normal but without information of some of their customers. All that it tells us is that, they [ECG] are not doing regular backups,” he added.

He said due to the enormous data size of its database, the backups could have been done at midnight when traffic on the system would have been slow since there wouldn’t be purchases during that time.

“They have millions of buyers so because of bandwidth and internet connectivity, you can back up your database at midnight because of the size of the data. What we are lacking most of the time is the project management and implementation, they are not doing that and therefore they have lost the database.”

“For example, every meter has a unique meter ID then your card also has an ID. So what happens is that when you go to the vendors to buy, you are buying with your card ID that is connected to your meter ID, they’ve lost that. So now that they’ve lost that, they are trying to revive their server and they don’t have these customers’ database in there; that is why people are unable to buy the prepaid credits,” the IT analyst added.

PURC threatens to sanction ECG

In a related development, the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC), has indicated that it may sanction ECG, over the challenges with its power prepayment system which has denied about 2000 customers access to electricity, as they are unable to purchase credit for their meters.

The sanction which includes fines according to the PURC will be imposed if ECG fails to furnish it with emergency response measures put in place following the challenges.

“The Commission as part of its enforcement process also issued initial time-bound directives to the ECG to submit details of its emergency response measures carried out. The directive elapsed at 4:00 pm on December 6, 2017. This has been followed up with a second directive to ECG requesting the company to show cause in respect of monetary penalties to be imposed with a response deadline of December 8, 2017, in accordance with due process,” PURC said in a statement.

By: Godwin Akweiteh Allotey/

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