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23.05.2007 General News

Apology From ECG, VRA

Naturally the management of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and of the Volta River Authority (VRA) owe electricity consumers an explanation as to what has accounted for the erratic nature of power supply in recent weeks.

Ghanaians have accepted the need for the load-shedding exercise in order to save the Akosombo Dam. But consumers expect that power will be on during the advertised periods.

The problem for many consumers is that whereas the lights go off during the advertised periods, they never come on on time when power is supposed to be restored. There must, therefore, be a reason for this.

Many consumers wonder how there are no problems, technically, when the lights are to go off but there are a myriad of them when the power is to be restored.

The VRA may be encountering difficulties with power supply but there are many Ghanaians who think that the VRA and the ECG are hiding their inefficiencies under the alibi of the load shedding.

The patience of consumers is getting thin. The power outages are becoming too rampant and many hold the view that the VRA and the ECG are bent on denying them power. Otherwise, they want an explanation for the numerous power outages.

The fact is that there are numerous consumers who do not think that the two organisations are going through any difficult times, apart from the low level of water in the Akosombo Dam, to cause the kind of power outages being experienced currently.

Indeed, the management of the ECG and the VRA must be the first to admit that consumers have not been treated fairly at all under the load-shedding exercise.

If, for any reason, an area which is to have power is denied the privilege, it would be fair to compensate the people in that area for a few more hours when they are due to go off. But that is not the case; at exactly the appointed time power goes off.

Unfortunately, staff of the ECG do not exhibit a similar zeal when power is to be restored. It takes so long, necessitating the public's assumption that the load-shedding exercise has been extended to 15 hours, instead of the advertised 12-hour cycle.

What it all means is that despite the fall in the water level in the Akosombo Dam, there is the need for efficiency and effectiveness in power supply to win the trust and confidence of our people.

As of now, majority of our people do not think or believe that the uncontrolled power outages are a consequence of the shortfall in power supply but an inefficient way of managing what is available.

It is our hope that the ECG and the VRA will not take the views of the people for granted but do everything to ensure reliable and consistent power supply within the advertised periods.

Goodwill for the two organisations has waned and the earlier something was done to win the confidence of our people, the better.

It is good that the management of the ECG and of the VRA have apologised to Ghanaians for the lapses. However, there must be meaning. It should not be an empty and meaningless apology.