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Some of the traders during the press conference
Some traders including operators of cold store and corn mill businesses have expressed anger at the huge bills they incur from the use of what they say is ‘uncalibrated prepaid meters’.
According to them recent purchases of electricity credit at the various vending points only last for some few days contrary to purchases some months before.
They are unclear whether recent increase in taxes have affected electricity tariffs, hence the sudden change in units of power consumed.
Unhappy about current happenings especially with the prepaid power consumption pattern, a group calling itself Coldstore and Corn Mill Union has accused the ECG of installing uncalibrated new meters to rip them off. Describing them as “Usain bolt meters” because they read very fast at their shops, Mr. Moses Deh Secretary of the Coldstore and Corn Mill Union who addressed a news conference in Accra to make public their plight called on President Akufo-Addo to intervene stressing that the new meter “runs like tap water” thereby adding a heavy toll on their businesses.
“Mr. President our own checks about these new meters proves to us that, the meters have not been calibrated by the Ghana Standard Authority (G.S.A). As a result it gives unreasonable and unacceptable readings which translates into higher cost of consumption within or by 24 hours’ time”, Mr. Deh emphasized.
“We were told the project to roll out the new meters is being piloted at Agbogbloshie market, we dare say that per the rate at which these meters run, if this exercise to change and install “Usain Bolt” meters nationwide continues, then all cold store businesses will soon collapse in this country.
The Secretary also expressed worry over how their weekly electricity consumption has shot up to 800%.
“Mr. President, charges for our weekly consumptions have suddenly jumped to about 800%. For example; a cold store operator who used to buy credit for previous meter at GHc 2,000.00 a week is now buying GHc 8,400.00. Receipts are here with us to testify to this evidence. Another client used to buy GHc 80.00 a day is now buying GHc240.00”, Mr. Deh lamented.
He therefore called on President Akufo Addo to intervene since talks with ECG and NBI have failed adding that “we know that when you come in as our father we shall get to the bottom of this issue. All our plea was rejected by ECG. “Ya pim oo!” “Ya pim!” as Akans say. We know that you are the only one who can listen to us now so we are pleading with you once again to come to our aid”, he said.
In a related development, the Kumasi Kejetia traders in the Ashanti region are also poised to shut down their businesses over the high cost of electricity at the new market.
The traders at a news conference on Wednesday said the cost of electricity at the facility is extremely high which of course is eating up their revenues.
Nana Prempeh, leader of the traders, addressing the press revealed that the big Kejetia market of about 7,240 stalls use one metre.
According to him, the situation undoubtedly has led to high electricity Tariffs at the market.
He said leaders of the traders have managed to acquire some metres from the Electricity Company of Ghana to fix in each of the shops, however authorities of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) have not given them approval despite many meetings with them.
The issue, he claims has infuriated his people since they can no longer afford to pay the high electricity charges.
For this reason, they are going to close down their shops in the next 2 weeks to stage a massive demonstration over the high charges.