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Delay in PURC board inaugural stalls tariff review for 2021

Review of tariffs for 2021 has been put on hold due to the absence of a board for the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC).

The sector regulator has been operating without a board since the commencement of the second tenure of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

As a result, major tariff reviews for this year are paused.

In an interview with The Ghana Report, the PRO of the Commission, Mr Bawah Munkaila, said major decisions had been placed on hold.

“Currently, we do not have a board, so we are patiently waiting. Until a board is duly constituted, the Secretariat cannot take decisions because decision making lies solely on the board,” he indicated.

He explained that the board undertakes PURC operations, and the role of the staff at the secretariat is only to assist.

According to him, the Commission was not privy to the percentage for review because it was still reviewing proposals from every player in the value chain, consisting of a tariff build-up from generation and transmission to distribution.

A process commenced at the beginning of March on tariff review is currently at the preliminary stage, as the PURC has received proposals from utility service providers.

 

The 2021 tariff review process is still ongoing, with the commission having engaged sector players in a face-to-face meeting to incorporate their inputs.

These players included the Volta River Authority (VRA), Ghana Grid Company Limited (GRIDCo), Electricity Company of Ghana, Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCo), Ghana National Gas Company (GNGC), Enclave Power Company (EPC) and the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL).

Energy sector players, including the Ministry of Energy and the Energy Commission, were also part of the stakeholder meeting to broaden the scope of transparency.

ECG and some others in the power sector are calling for an upward review in tariffs to cater for their rising operational costs.

On Thursday, April 8, 2021, the Managing Director (MD) of ECG Kwame Agyeman-Budu said while he is aware that the proposal will only materialize after approval from PURC.

He highlighted the need for ECG to have access to more funds to enable it to operate efficiently.

Meanwhile, Mr Munkaila has disclosed that PURC is collecting data for a major tariff review on a five-year basis.

“Usually, a major tariff takes about two or three years, but now we are planning to make it a multi-year tariff (from 2021 to 2026). That one is pending the Board’s approval when it is constituted.”

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