26.05.2005 Business & Finance

Unreliable utility services are affecting industries

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Findings from a research conducted by the Private Enterprise Foundation (PEF) between 2003 and 2004 on utility services have revealed the unreliability of utility services, which have affected the processes and cost of production in the country.

The research conducted included interrupted water supply, unreliable telephone services and unannounced power outages.

According to the Director-General of PEF, Dr. Osei Boeh-Ocansey, findings from the research conducted revealed that interrupted water supply and power outages were the two critical problems affecting industries in Ghana.

He said the research on water revealed that 10 to 500 million cedis is spent annually on water as a result of interrupted water supply.

In addition, he said it was found that industries spent between 10 million and 200 million cedis on the treatment of water to make it acceptable for product manufacture because the quality of water from Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) did not meet their specifications.

He noted that industries that depended on water were all operating below installed capacity owing to interrupted water supply.

A similar study on the impact of power outages on the manufacturing industries in Ghana also showed that industries make losses of between two million and nine billion cedis monthly as a result of power outages depending on the size of the industry.

He said close to 83 percent of the industries surveyed experienced damage to equipment, the cost range of which is between eight million cedis and five billion cedis annually, depending on the type of industries.

The research also revealed that as a result of power outages, approximately 70 percent of industries surveyed experienced damage to materials in the production process and the cost was estimated to be between ¢3 million and ¢5 billion.

He said the study showed that 35 percent of industries experienced about five outages a month, 48 percent six to seven outages a month, and nine percent more than 10 outages a month.

The research recommended to government to provide assistance to the power sector, assist VRA to secure loans to increase its generation capacity and establish subsides to some categories of consumers.

The findings would be released this week by PEF as part of its week celebrations termed as utilities week.

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