The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has dismissed 10 of its workers for conniving with individuals and companies to illegally connect power and by-pass meters.Ten others have been interdicted pending investigations to establish the various roles they played in similar acts which have so far cost the company and the state billions of cedis in lost revenue.
The Director of Customer Services of the ECG, Mr David Vukania, said in an interview in Accra that “the workers were found to have connived with electrical contractors to use sub-standard materials to connect electricity to customers, thereby overloading the system, which damages transformers”.He said the acts of illegal connection and bypassing of meters by individuals and companies, with the assistance of some ECG staff, were gradually crippling the company's operations.
“Power theft is crippling the company. The culprits are across board.They include foreigners, private residents, manufacuturing companies,hoteliers, parastatals, communication centres, hairdressing salons, fuel filling stations,barbering shops, among others,”he explained. He said staff of the company who continued to connive with customers to rob the company and the state of revenue would be dealt with in accordance with the company's rules and regulations.
Mr Vukania cited an instance when a private company owned by a prominent person stole power to the tune of more than ¢300 million.According to him, the ECG had since billed the company and it was being made to pay its debt, while stringent measures had been instituted to prevent such occurences in the future.He said the company had, as part of measures to halt illegal activities, formed the Loss Control and Monitoring teams which had mounted an intensive operation to apprehend individuals involved in such activities.
He further stated that the ECG had since decided to post the pictures of offenders on its website to serve as a deterrent to others.Additionally, the company had instituted a reward scheme for patriotic persons who would report thefts in their neighbourhoods.According to him, the response from individuals had been very encouraging and that had led to the exposure of power thefts at all levels.
Mr Vukania appealed to more Ghanaians to report those involved in such illegal acts to the ECG to save the country from further loss of revenue.He gave the assurance that their identities would not be disclosed in any quarter when a report of illegal connection was made.
He reminded all that it cost the company a lot of money to purchase and distribute electricity, adding that power theft was dangerous and also reduced the lifespan of transformers.