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13.04.2010 General News

Illegal power connection: ECG strikes

By Daily Graphic/Ghana
Illegal power connection: ECG strikes
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Ten thousand companies in Accra and Kumasi are to be inspected by the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to expose those engaged in illegal connection of electricity.

The exercise has been necessitated by the detection of illegal connection of electricity allegedly engaged in by the African Automobile Limited (AAL) in Accra, as well as other business entities elsewhere.

The supposed illegal connection of electricity by the AAL alone amounted to the loss of GH¢ 130,000 to the ECG.

The Managing Director of the ECG, Mr Cephas Gakpo, told the Daily Graphic that the AAL had been asked to settle the bill within a month.

Additionally, the ECG had requested the police and the Attorney-General's Department to initiate prosecution against officials of the AAL.

Mr Gakpo said the ECG was losing GH¢78 million annually through illegal connections.

On the inspection exercise, the managing director said two independent consultants had already been engaged to carry out the exercise, which had become necessary because of the constant loss of revenue by the ECG as a result of illegal connections.

He said the ECG lost about 13 per cent of the power it regularly purchased from the Volta River Authority (VRA) to illegal connections.

Mr Gakpo said some officials of the ECG connived with individuals and companies to connect electricity illegally and indicated that five officials of the ECG were dismissed every month for engaging in illegal connection of electricity.

On Thursday, April 8, 20 1 0, the ECG exposed an alleged illegal connection of electricity by the AAL.

The motor company allegedly connected electricity behind a meter at its bonded warehouse to its sales and services point located about 150 metres away.

"I feel sad that elements in corporate Ghana should involve themselves in illegal connection of electricity," Mr Gakpo lamented.

He expressed regret that innocent companies and individuals were paying for the electricity being illegally enjoyed by others.

He said the connivance of some ECG officials in the illegal connection of electricity made it difficult to detect the illegal connection.

"They use ingenious ways of stealing electricity with the connivance of our staff," Mr Gakpo said.

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