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18.03.2009 Business & Finance

Imported meters will not kill local industry -AVRL

By Chris Twum - Ghanaian Chronicle

The Managements of Aqua Vittens Rand Limited (AVRL) has debunked claims made by Essential Services Platform (ESP), a collation of NGOs in water, health, education and sanitation that suggest that the importation of water meters is an attempt by the company to kill the local manufacturing industry of water meter in the country.

ESP has in recent times raised concerns about the importation of such meters, alleging that they would contribute to high utility tariffs within the water sector of the nation's economy. The group further expressed its resentment at the company's procurement process, which has exhibited some level of lapses.

The coalition further explained that as a result of inefficiencies, non-revenue water is still as high as at 49 percent, just a marginal change from the 51 percent in 2005 when AVRL, took over management of Ghana water company limited (GWCL).

Speaking in an interview with the public relation officer of AVRL, Mr. Stanley Martey explained that the importation of meters was not intended to down play the local manufacturing industry in the country. “We do some time also purchase locally manufactured meters in the country”, he emphasised.

Mr. Martey stressed that the mother company in Holland offered to donate 70,000 pieces of high standards meters and such an offer could not be declined as it would help cut down cost to invest in other areas of the sector.

He further hinted that the imported meters were not second hand meters but admitted that some of the meters were old and needed to be calibrated to suite the Ghanaian standards and thus all the measurements done were universal and standard.

According to the Director of Metrology (measurements) at the Ghana Standards Board (GSB) Rev. Moses Adotey Poppoe, the test conducted on most of the meters, which is the self-certification, has shown that the meters were in good conditions for customer and commercial use, but admitted that the Board did not have the equipment to test the meters.

Mr. Noble Bediako, the Meter Manager of AVRL hinted that his out fit has taken stock of some of 5417 meters out of which 2000 are intended to be distributed at the Kumasi branch. “What matters most not whether the meters are used ones or new, we still have to calibrate them to ensure that the amount of water passing through the meters would not produce high utility tariffs at the expense of the consumer, and also the company would not incur debts also”, he added.

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