Source: Adnan Adams Mohammed
President Akufo-Addo in his sixth address on measures taken against the spread of coronavirus announced that the government will fully absorb electricity bills for the poorest of the poor, that is, for all lifeline consumers.
He explained that electricity will be free for persons who consume zero (0) to fifty (50) kilowatt-hours a month for this period.
In addition, for all other consumers, residential and commercial, government will absorb, fifty per cent (50%) of the electricity bill for this period, using the month of March 2020 bill as the benchmark. This means that, if your electricity bill was GH¢100, you will pay only GH¢50, with the government absorbing the remaining GH¢50.
“This is being done to support industry, enterprises and the service sector in these difficult times, and to provide some relief to households for lost of income. Nevertheless, I urge all Ghanaians to exercise discipline in their use of water and electricity”, the President said in his address.
But, a former Deputy Minister of Power under the erstwhile Mahama administration, John Abdulai Jinapor has criticized the decision stressing that, it will make consumers worse off.
According to him, the president’s 50% electricity rebate is meant to mislead the poor Ghanaian who queued to vote for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) into office.
Shortly after the announcement, the Yapei Kusawgu MP, took to his Facebook timeline and explained: “The lifeline Net Charge for Electricity consumers (50kwh) is GH¢19.26 a month.
“By spending more time at home during the lockdown would mean doubling of consumption, that is say, 100[KWh], will push a consumer to GH¢58.93,” John Abdulai Jinapor added.
Meanwhile just after the announcement, Franklin Cudjoe, President of IMANI Ghana, had already cautioned Ghanaians to be considerate with the demand for free electricity after water was made free.
He said, the economy will fold up if the government gives free electricity to its people as part of the efforts to deal with the effects of the coronavirus infection, although other nations had already announced more free social services such as; free water, electricity, rent among others to cushion its citizens during this hard times.