COVID-19: Govt to absorb full electricity bills for some while others to pay 50%
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has announced the government's decision to absorb full and partial electricity bills of consumers as part of measures to mitigate the impact of the Coronavirus disease on the Ghanaian economy.
The President last Sunday announced the government's decision to absorb fully the water bills of all Ghanaians; a decision that was welcomed by the populace.
Addressing the nation on Thursday evening, April 9, 2020, the President announced more measures are being taken to ease the burden of the pandemic on the populace.
He said as part of the measures, the government would fully absorb the electricity bills for persons who consume zero to 50 kW/h of electricity for the periods of April, May and June.
Adding further that, for residential and commercial users, the government would absorb 50 per cent of their electricity bills using March 2020 as a benchmark.
"Government will fully absorb electricity bills for the poorest of the poor, i.e. for all lifeline consumers, that is free electricity for persons who consume zero (0) to fifty (50) kilowatt-hours a month for this period," he said.
"In addition, for all other consumers, residential and commercial, Government will absorb, again, fifty per cent (50%) of your electricity bill for this period, using your March 2020 bill as your benchmark," he added.
The President in details explained by saying:
"If your electricity bill was GH¢100, you will pay only GH¢50, with government absorbing the remaining GH¢50."
According to the President, the decision is to support industry, enterprises and the service sector, as well as provide some relief to households for lost income.
"Nevertheless, I urge all Ghanaians to exercise discipline in their use of water and electricity," he added.
Ghana has recorded 378 cases of the Coronavirus disease, with six deaths and four recoveries.
Earlier responses to the call
Before the announcement by the president, Majority Leader in parliament, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, in response to these calls said electricity tariffs could only be reduced or scrapped if the country has enough funds to cater for such request.
Speaking in an interview, he noted that these calls can only be possible if the country’s finances were strong enough to cater to that.
“It depends on the size of the wallet of the country and what could be practically achieved by government within this span of time. Water charges are going to be born for three months. We want to know what government is going to do in respect of this. Don’t forget that for now, we are talking about Accra, Tema and Kumasi. If this thing should happen in Tamale and Wa, given the statistics that are coming out, government will necessarily have to extend the assistance to the citizens of Tamale and Wa. That thought should perish. But if it should happen, what is being done for Accra and Kumasi will have to be extended to them as well and we should look at the purse of the country in all this,” he stated.
Also, The Institute of Energy Security (IES) had been of the same view that, there could only be a reduction or scrapping off if the government had available funds to address that call from Ghanaians.
Meanwhile, Ghana's case count hit 378 with six deaths and four recoveries.