The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), has been told to intensify its effort to retrieve debts owed by state institutions.
Member of Parliament for Pru East Dr Kwabena Donkor said they should make sure that all institutions that are owing even if it is the Supreme Court or the Jubilee House, pay.
“They should do more, including the Jubilee House, the supreme court building, Parliament,” the former Power Minister said on the Ghana Tonight Show on TV3 Tuesday, March 21.
Dr Kwabena Donkor also said the ECG itself should be partly blamed for the debt owed by institutions.
He accused the state power distributor of previously succumbing to pressures from government institutions to act in retrieving its debt.
Dr Donkor said regarding the causes 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.”
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.
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.”
The ECG has also been disconnecting homes and industries over debts.
Laila Abubakar said “In Tema, we have received photos of disconnections happening in residences, we have received photos of them in some of the industries in Tema and they are being disconnected.
“I am hoping that by the end of the day, we should be able to see a lot of money coming in into our accounts.
“Our system has been digitized in such a way that by the end of the day the Managing Director will be able to see how much we have recouped from this exercise and so we will report in a timely basis how much we are making on a weekly basis.”