ECG HOLDS STAKEHOLDER MEETING ON INSTALLATION OF PRE-PAID METRES
After its last Stakeholder Meeting held on the 16th of December 2021 following the blackout exacted on the Krobo land by the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) for seven (7) continuous day; from Monday, 6th – Sunday 12th December 2021 for what some believed was a punishment meted out to the Krobo land en mass for owing and refusing to ECG Bills, the ECG held yet another Stakeholder Meeting today in the Yilo Krobo Municipal Assembly Hall, the purpose of which was to engage stakeholders on the proposed plan by the ECG to install Pre-paid metres which was scheduled to begin in six months after all preparatory works were done and after enough public sensitization.
The ECG delegation was led by Mr. Theo Asante-Darko (who is also a native of the Krobo land), and Director in charge of Energy Consulting and Telco Services. Mr. Theo Asante-Darko emphasized that the decision to install the Pre-paid metres in Somanya was part of general management decision to install Pre-paid metres in all urban areas and has nothing to do with the subsisting problem relative to Bills payment within the Krobo enclave as he also took his time to outline the advantages of Pre-paid Metres to include how it makes one a good manager of energy consumption as against post-paid metres with high possibility to reduce one’s energy consumption cost.
Mr. Asante-Darko also indicated that management of ECG had decided to ring-fence its bills (that is, to set aside for further investigation), all bills owed ECG by its customers within the Krobo enclave up to 2017 as customers take the necessary steps to make payment plans to settle all Bills owed ECG from 2018 to date within two (2) years.
However, during the open forum interaction, it was argued, that the payment plan for bills owed from 2018 to date, be extended to five (5) years but there was no decision reached at the meeting as the delegation would have to transmit this new suggestion of five (5) years to management of the EGC for consideration. Mr. Asante-Darko however urged and admonished, that efforts should be made by customers with commitment to honour whichever payment plans they entered into eventually with ECG to ensure smooth operation of the ECG in the Krobo land, as he added, that in the interim, some activities such as checking of one’s bills, payment of bills and some minimal enquiries would temporarily be carried out at the Somanya office with the Juapong office still remaining the main office serving the Krobo enclave until further notice.
Some of the participants urged the ECG to ensure that when the installation of the Pre-paid metres starts, it should be more aggressive to enroll more houses than the initial target figure of 3,000 plus post-paid metres earmarked to be replaced with Pre-paid metres as against estimated 23, 000 plus post-paid metres within the enclave so that it would not lend itself to comparison between pre-paid metres and post-paid metres; the consequences of which can at least be perceived.
Relative to roadmap on the installation of the pre-paid metres by way of public education campaign, Madam Theresah Osabutey, the ECG Manager in charge of Public Relations indicated, that number of strategies would be rolled out to engage the natives/customers on the essence of the pre-paid metres before the installation process begins and this include; radio programs, community engagements using Assembly members and other opinion leaders, and Information Vans to make sure that the message sync well with the people. The Yilo krobo NCCE Director, Madam Cynthia Tetteh however advised that Community Information Centres should be factored into the publicity strategy and also advised that the Krobo language should be used more than other dialects in the public education campaign.
Other members of the ECG delegation included Ing. Emmanuel Akinie, Tema Region General Manager, Lawyer Cephas Galley, General Manager in charge of Litigation and Mr. Robert Aziz from Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC).
On his part, the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for the Yilo Krobo Municipality, Hon. Eric Tetteh pledged his support and that of his technocrats, the chiefs, Assembly members and other opinion leaders in order to ensure that the subsisting issue was resolved eventually to pave way for business activities in the Municipality to flourish.