Incumbent Energy Minister, John Peter Amewu says the Akufo-Addo led government overpaid debt owed power distributor, the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) as at the end of 2019.
According to Peter Amewu, the government actually paid ECG access of Ghc 500 million after settling the debt already accumulated over the years.
He said this on Tuesday, May 19,2020 at the regular media briefing organized by the Information Ministry in Accra to update the public on the Covid-19.
“The NPP government from assumption of office, it ensured that it was current on all the bills incurred during its tenure from 2017 to date, on the average, the government under His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has paid 2 billion annually to cover its bills with the Electricity Company of Ghana. Today, at the end of 2019, all government bills with ECG had been paid and government had a credit balance of 500 million cedis with ECG,” Peter Amewu told the media.
President Nana Akufo-Addo in one of his April addresses announced a 100% absorption of electricity bills for the very low income earners who consume up to 50 kilowatt-hours a month and a 50% for those whose consumption is above 50 kilowatt-hours.
This was to help citizens reduce the burden imposed by the Coronavirus pandemic on businesses.
After the President’s address, the Energy Minister clarified on April 16 that, the electricity package will cover about 86 per cent of Ghanaians who are legally hooked onto the national grid.
It was estimated that, 1 billion cedis is going to be fueled into the relief package the president announced for the months of April, May and June.
Chairman of Parliament’s Finance Committee, Dr Mark Assibey Yeboah later made it known to the Parliament that part of the US$ 1 billion loan government secured from the IMF would be channeled into the Covid-19 electricity subsidy for Ghanaians.
“Government has already made some payment to ECG as a result of COVID-19 subsidy regime introduced for a period of three months.” Mr. Amewu told the media on Tuesday.
According to the Energy Minister, Ghanaians have already started enjoying the package. “I am happy to announce that, that process is ongoing” he said.
He explained that, the NPP-led government was met with ‘huge indebtedness’ to ECG. He gave a figure of about 2.63 billion cedis as at December 2016.
He concluded by saying, the government upon assuming office have paid the power distributor a tune of Ghc 100 million per month and even paid an excess of 500 million in order to relieve the government for a while.
“…the credit balance of over 500 million cedis is enough and more than enough to pay for government bills from January to April 2020.”