Announcing Electricity tariff reduction was needless - Wereko-Brobby
Dr Charles Wereko-Brobby, has described the government's decision to announce electricity tariff as needless.
The former CEO of the Volta River Authority, VRA is of the view that, the disclosure made by the Finance Minister that there will be an average reduction of up to 13 percent in electricity tariffs for residential and industrial consumers clearly undermines the work of the Public Utility Regulatory Commission, PURC.
Dr Charles Wereku-Brobby said government does not have the mandate to make a recommendation to the PURC on possible cuts in utility costs as the Commission had the sole mandate of setting the tariffs.
“Since 1997, we’ve had the PURC whose job it is to determine the methodology and the applicable rates, and also undertake three-monthly reviews of the tariffs in line with the changing circumstances such as price of fuel and the types of fuel mix that are being used by various generators, and the tariffs that are paid to the various generators. That is the sole purview of the PURC, and absolutely no government has got any right to recommend, let alone be specific about what reductions it should apply.”
The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, during the 2018 budget reading in Parliament stated that the government had revised the tariff-setting methodology and the cost structure for power production.
He added that a recommendation would be made to the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission in this regard, which will bring a little more relief to businesses and domestic users of electricity.
But in a radio interview, the Former Chief Executive Officer said the government could make proposals to the regulatory body about a possible reduction in the tariffs, citing possible changes in the cost of production but not make recommendations and announce it in a budget.
“[Government] is not supposed to make recommendations, if you make recommendations to the PURC, you don’t announce them in the budget. Proposals can be made to the PURC.”
He said the final say on any adjustment of the tariffs should come from the PURC devoid of any pressure from the government.