The Minority Spokesperson on Energy, Adams Mutawakilu, has accused the government of usurping the powers of the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission [PURC], by announcing a 14 percent average reduction in electricity tariffs for non-residential users in the country.
The announcement was made by President Nana Akufo-Addo, but Mr. Mutawakilu contends that “announcing the reduction when PURC hasn’t even done the major tariff review is taking over the work of PURC.”
“Government doesn’t direct PURC. Government gives input to PURC. That is why it [PURC] is independent, and I have continued to warn that they are treating PURC as an agency or department under the Ministry of Energy,” he said on Eyewitness News.
Before this assertion, Mr. Mutawakilu had claimed that proposals had not been made to the PURC to reduce electricity tariffs, as captured in the 2018 budget.
But responding to the claims, the Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko, said there were documents available to prove the proposal for reduction was sent as far back as November 2017.
Mutawakilu’s claims baseless
Also speaking on Eyewitness News, the Spokesperson for the Energy Ministry, Nana Damoah, said the Minority MP was only trying to smear the President.
“The President is not saying that he as President has unilaterally taken a decision to review prices, so I wonder what Mr. Adams Mutawakilu is talking about. There is absolutely no basis whatsoever for him to be attempting to make the claims he is making.”
The President made the announcement at the opening of the 8th Salon Academy of the National Association of Beauticians and Hairdressers
According to Mr. Damoah, the President would not have made the announcement without “knowing the state of all of these processes and procedures.
He also reminded that it was clear in the budget statement that these were proposals and according to him, the PURC acknowledged receipt of proposals and “kicked into gear its own processes.”
“The president has done nothing but reinstate that point that was made in the budget of 2018 that was read in November 2017,” Mr. Damoah said.
The government announced that it had recommended the review of electricity tariffs in the country to the PURC.
It said it is hoping for an average reduction of 13 percent in electricity tariffs for residential consumers, whilst it is targeting a 21 percent drop for industrial consumers.
Reducing electricity tariffs was a major promise of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) ahead of the 2016 elections.