“I had a discussion with the managing director. American Embassy has 160 facilities in Ghana. They have not been billed for two years. So they went to ECG and said ‘look, we owe you money. Bring us a bill. Bring us pre-paid meters. We will use it for one year, and whenever we use, we will multiply it by 3 and give it to you.’ Up to now, the ECG hasn’t been able to do that,” he noted.
The minister was speaking to concerns over growing debt stock of the ECG, which has been attributed to a faulty metering system and avoidable employee recklessness, among other things.
Mr Agyarko noted that the ECG’s debt accumulation on a monthly basis stood at GH¢66 million.
The United States embassy in Ghana has been pursuing the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) for two years to secure and pay bills for power consumed within the period.
The Embassy has said though it is prepared to pay the power, it has been difficult to get official bills.
The US Embassy, in a series of tweets, further noted that funds have been set aside to settle these electricity bills.
“The U.S. Embassy in Ghana has not refused to pay any electricity bills. We have been asking for official bills for embassy-managed facilities for more than 2 years so we can issue correct payments. The embassy has set aside funds for electricity, and we will continue to work with the ECG to get correct bills so we can pay,” the embassy clarified.
ECG workers claim embassy not owing
The US Embassy’s remarks come despite employees of the ECG, in a response to the Energy Minister, saying the US Embassy did not owe the electricity provider “in terms of bills”.
“So if they were not getting bills, would they have paid all their indebtedness till date? So this is a statement we find very unfortunate, and ask the Minister to provide further details,” the workers of ECG added in a statement.
The Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko had earlier revealed that American Embassy’s 160 facilities in Ghana had not been billed for two years and had been asking for pre-paid meters.
Inefficiencies within the ECG contributed to the reasoning behind the second Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact worth $498 million with the US government.
The agreement brought to total $1.4 billion received by the government to be injected into the country’s energy sector geared towards making the ECG more efficient.
Some staff of ECG expressed fears they would be laid off amidst rumours of the privatisation of the company, but the MCC has insisted that the company will not be privatised but be strengthened to work more efficiently.
Under the Power Compact, six projects will be implemented to address the unavailability and unreliability of power in Ghana
The project includes ECG Financial and Operational Turnaround Project, NEDCo Financial and Operational Turnaround Project, Regulatory Strengthening and Capacity Building Project, and Access Project.