‘Free electricity’ to cost Ghana ¢1bn in 3 months – Energy Minister

Government is spending a whopping 1 billion to finance the electricity relief package announced by President Nana Akufo-Addo to cushion Ghanaians for the next three months amid the deadly coronavirus outbreak.

Energy Minister John Peter Amewu said on Thursday that the covid-19 presidential electricity package will cover about 86 per cent of Ghanaians who are hooked onto the national grid.

¢ 732 million for ECG

For Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) customers, government is spending 244 million cedis every month as subsidy under the package and 732 million cedis in total for the next three month commencing in April.

One million people who have been classified as lifeline customers under ECG will have their monthly bills totalling 8.5 million cedis absorbed by the government for the next three months.

The 50 per cent cut in bills for non-lifeline customers of ECG has been pegged to cost the government 235.4 million cedis per month

¢ 141 million for NEDCO

The Northern Electricity Development Corporation (NEDCo) will receive 47 million cedis per month or a total of 141 million cedis to cover for the bills of its customers under the package.

About 10.9 million cedis is being spent monthly (a total of 32.9 million cedis for three months) for 569,000 lifeline customers. The lifeline customers constitute 60.67 of the total NEDCo customers.

For the 369,000 non-lifeline customers of NEDCo, government is spending 36 million every month or 108 million cedis for the three-month period.

¢ 166.4 million for VRA

For Volta River Authority customers, government will spend a total of 55.5 million cedis monthly or a total of 166.4 million cedis for the three-month period

Subsidy for 12 mining companies under the NEDCo will cost the government 42.4 million every month for the next three months totaling 127.2 million cedis.

For Valco government will spend 4.8 million cedis monthly which will translate into a total of 14.4 million cedis for the three-month period.

“Overall, the government is providing a cumulative relief of an amount equivalent to about 1 billion cedis, approximately covering a customer population of about 4.8 million meters across Ghana for the three months,” Mr Amewu said at the news conference in Accra.

Other manufacturing companies such as Aluworks, Diamond Cement, Savannah Cement, Enclave power limited of which 7.9 million cedis per month or a total of 23.7 million for the three months.

Why the relief package?

President Nana Akufo-Addo last week announced a 100 per cent absorption of electricity bills for the poorest of the poor who consume up to 50 kilowatt-hours a month and a 50 per cent for those whose consumption is above 50 kilowatt-hours.

“Government will fully absorb electricity bills for the poorest of the poor…That is free electricity for persons who consume from 0-50 kilowatt-hours a month for this period,” he stated in his sixth covid-19 address to the nation.

He explained the relief intervention is “to provide some reliefs to households for loss [of] income,” as a result of the deadly coronavirus outbreak in the country which has so far affected 636 people and killed eight of them.

Source: 3news.com

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