We’re coming, we’ll collect all the debts – ECG boss tells debtors

The Managing Director of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) Samuel Dubik Mahama has told persons and institutions owing the company that the taskforce is coming to collect all the debts.

Mr Mahama said the company needs the money to run its operations.

Speaking on the Ghana Tonight show on TV3 Wednesday, March 22, he revealed that an amount of GHS5.7 billion is owed to the state power distributor.

He said the company will intensify the collection of the debt.

“Every month we will show up to collect the debts,” he added.

The ECG has been embarking on a debt recovery exercise since Monday, March 20.

The company said that it has introduced a digitalized system to ensure the amount of money received from the debt recovery exercise is monitored directly by the Managing Director of the company.

Mr Mahama said so far they are able to collect between 40 to 50 Million Cedis daily since the exercise started.

“I can each day 40 to 50 million cedis everyday, we are expecting it to go up,” he said.

The task force visited institutions such as Parliament, the Ghana Arprort Company Limited (GACL) and the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) as part of the debt recovery.

Speaking to journalists after the exercise on Monday, March 20, the External Communications Manager of ECG, Laila Abubakar said “The national task force is the one that is in charge of the state-owned enterprises, the ministries, departments and agencies and so we have been going with them, we visited Parliament House, they were owing about a GHS13million they have committed to paying GHS8.5million, we saw evidence of that.

“We went to the Ghana Airpot Company, they owed arrears of GHS28million of which they made GHS10 million payment instantly just when we got there so we have given them 48 hours to make the full payment.”

She added “Now, we are here at the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, they also owe in arrears of about GHS6 million but they have explained to us that because of the way they run their operations they wouldn’t be able to cough out the money for us instantly, they have had some discussions with the Minister of Information and the National Media Commission together with the Ministry of Energy and there was some sort of agreement last years. However, ECG’s point is that there has not been any movement on the debt that is remaining.

“They have explained to us they have a system and they are going to get some money and pay because they have to find innovative ways of coming up with the money and so we have been giving permission to leave them for now for 48 hours.”

Meanwhile, the Executive Director of the Africa Center for Energy Policy (ACEP) Benjamin Baoakye has told the management of the ECG to find the balance in retrieving the debt owed to the company by institutions while at the same time not creating a disincentive for power consumption.

He explained that the ECG would need consumers to purchase and consume power otherwise it would not make any profit.

That does not also mean that it should not collect the debt owed it, he added.

Mr Ben Boakye said these on the Ghana Tonight show on TV3 Tuesday, March 21 while contributing to a discussion on the efforts by the management of the ECG to recover its debts.

The Member of Parliament for Pru East and former Minister of Power Dr Kwabena Donkor also said ECG should be partly blamed for the debt owed by institutions.

He accused the compnay of previously succumbing to pressures from government institutions not to act to retrieve its debt.

Also speaking on the Ghana Tonight show on TV3 Tuesday, March 21, Dr Donkor said regarding the cause of the debt of the ECG that “It is an attitudinal problem. A lot of government institutions think there is one central government and that there can be debt settlement… there used to be an agency settlement arrangement but that is no more.

“ECG is partly to blame, previously it has succumbed to all sorts of pressures from government institutions. When I was the Minister of Power we put the Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of Finance on prepaid, once you put them on prepaid they can’t accumulate debt unless there is a fault, that is the challenge.”

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

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