Ghanaians fear tariff increment will worsen economic plight

Some Ghanaians have expressed worry over the increase in utility tariffs saying it will increase the cost of production and inadvertently affect the general prices of goods and services. 

 Water and electricity are basic inputs for Small and Medium Scale Enterprises.

Madam Abena Christy, a pure water and soft drinks wholesaler at Tema Station in Accra in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, said market women were experiencing financial hardships and that the increase in utility tariffs would make matters worse because they were yet to get over the recent hike in fuel prices.

“As of late, we are only able to sell one fridge of water per day, which requires 20 bags of water. When we are unable to sell all the water in the fridge, it clogs and has an impact on us. The Government should show mercy on us because many single mothers and women are experiencing great agony,” she said. 

Mr Kwasi Addae, a shoe seller, said the Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC) should reconsider its decision regarding the hike in utility tariffs to discourage “illegal connections”.

“The PURC should have a second thought about the increment because Ghanaians are suffering and it’s not everyone who can afford the charges after it has been increased, some people will not prefer sleeping without lights and since they can’t buy electricity, they’ll resort to illegal connections,” he said.

Mr Isaac Baah, a dealer in handbags, pleaded with the government to put on hold the increment in utility tariffs saying, “the system is hard” and living is very difficult now due to inflation and fuel prices.  

The PURC on Monday announced a 27.15 per cent and 21.55 per cent hike in electricity and water tariffs respectively effective September 1.

The tariff decisions for the period 2022-2025 were informed by thorough analyses, extreme

debates, and broad consultations.

The last major review of tariffs, which resulted in a 17.5 per cent reduction for residential and 30 per cent for non-residential in electricity was done in 2018.

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