Some Ghanaians have expressed mixed reactions to the government’s decision to absorb electricity bills for the poor and slash fifty percent of the same for others.
The government says it will fully cover the bills of low-income consumers of electricity in the country for April, May and June 2020 as the country battles the novel coronavirus disease which has infected 408 people.
The remaining consumers who fall outside of this category will enjoy a 50 percent reduction in the cost of electricity for the same period.
Whereas some consumers believe that the move is a source of relief, others say it is unclear how it will be executed for prepaid users.
“I used to buy GHS20 worth of electricity every two weeks. So if the President has subsidized it by 50 percent, then it is good enough just that I don’t know if it will be possible or not because sometimes they talk and it doesn’t work,” one said.
Another indicated that, “I spend GHS140 a month on electricity every month. If the government says it is has subsidized it, then I will thank him”.
“They will say it is free, but when you go and buy it gets exhausted early. The credits are usually small in terms of consumption because you buy today and tomorrow it is gone. So for me, I don’t think it is free,” another retorted.
After President Akufo-Addo announced that government will take care of the water bills for all Ghanaians for April, May and June 2020 following an increase in the country’s coronavirus cases amidst a partial lockdown of the epicentres of the disease many individuals and groups pressured him to do same with electricity tariffs.
Apart from the Minority in Parliament, Former President John Dramani Mahama also asked for subsidization of electricity tariffs amid the Coronavirus outbreak in Ghana.
Mr. Mahama in a statement suggested that “a subsidy payment from the Stabilization Fund to the ECG and other generating companies can provide some temporary relief, however small, to consumers in this difficult period.”
The Progressive People’s Party (PPP) had also asked the President to consider a waiver on electricity bills as part of social interventions put in place to cushion Ghanaians against the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.