Stop Illegal Connections…PURC Boss Warns Public
4/13/2012 6:02:05 PM -
THE GENERAL public has been cautioned against illegally using essential commodities including electricity and water.
Issahaku Mashoud Yakubu, Ashanti Regional Manager of the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) said illegal connections crippled the operations of the utility providers.
He warned that offenders would be forced to pay required fees if they were caught, stressing that it was unlawful and unpatriotic for people to engage in illegal connections.
He noted that engaging in illegal connections had the potential of preventing the utility services from realizing their mandate and mission of providing uninterrupted services to the general public.
Addressing students of the Barekese Senior High School (SHS) in Kumasi, the PURC boss also urged consumers of utilities to promptly pay their monthly bills in order to keep the utility providers in business.
He said the PURC was there to ensure that customers of utilities were better served, but was quick to warn that 'we can only protect the customers when they also pay their bills always.'
The occasion was the 'Catch Them Young' programme introduced by the PURC to educate SHS students about the activities of the PURC and how the populace should relate with the utility services.
The programme, which would be replicated in other SHS and possibly the tertiary institutions in the region, seeks to imbibe in the students a sense of responsibility and rights with regard to the utility services, notably the Electricity Company of Ghana and Ghana Water Company Limited.
Mr. Yakubu observed that majority of the populace were not abreast of the activities of the PURC, a situation which he stated tended to create disaffection between them.
By the new educative programme, he said, the PURC hopes to enlighten the students about their activities and the need for customers to pay their utility bills so that the young children would in turn educate their parents back home to constantly pay their bills.
The PURC Chief said the programme would as well put the students in a position to teach their parents and guardians about their rights when it comes to dealing with the utility services.
Mr. Yakubu repeated the need for the general public to show active interest in the activities of the PURC to enable them learn when and how disconnections could be effected by the utility services.
He announced that the PURC had shifted from the old way of setting tariffs to Automatic Adjustment Formula (AAF), which ensured marginal increase in utility bills every three months.
The Ashanti Regional PURC boss said the new directive looked at inflation rates, exchange rates and world crude oil price among other factors before increasing utility tariffs.
Mr. Yakubu noted that the new way of setting utility tariffs was geared towards ensuring certainty in the expenditure pattern of industrial and residential consumers.
He reiterated the strongest need for utility consumers to constantly pay their bills, stating, 'The PURC can only protect the rights of customers effectively if the customers are responsible.'
FROM I.F. Joe Awuah Jnr., Kumasi