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Oct 11, 2013

1.3 Million Ghanaians enjoying subsidies-Ayariga

About 1.3 million Ghanaians would continue to enjoy subsidies on electricity and water, notwithstanding the recent hikes in the commodities, Mr Mahama Ayariga, Minister of information and Media relations has announced.

He explained that out of the 2.4 million consumers, more than half of them; mainly the poor and vulnerable would continue to benefit from subsidies, to cushion them against the impact of the recent tariff increases.

Mr Ayariga announced this during the daily briefing at the Flagstaff House, Kanda, on Thursday.

The Minister said an analysis carried out by the government revealed that more than half of electricity consumers in the country were still benefitting from the subsidy regime of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).

He said apart from those who use electricity on a commercial scale, there was still life-line support to domestic users in the billing scheme of the Electricity Corporation of Ghana (ECG), despite the upward adjustments in utility prices.

He explained that the ECG’s support for the poor and vulnerable, was a flat subsidy of GHC 0.61 per consumer for those who consume between zero to 50 units and then a per kilowatt subsidy of GHC0.016.

For consumers in the range of 51 to 150 units, the minister said they would enjoy a per kilowatt subsidy of GHC 0.041.

Meanwhile, he said President John Mahama has directed the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum and its allied agencies to carry out a campaign to educate Ghanaians on energy conservation with a view to minimizing the waste in the system due to bad attitudes and practices.

He said 30 per cent of electricity produced is lost due to consumer practices and stressed that the public awareness campaign reduced the incidence to 30 per cent.

On suspicions by consumers of utility providers, regarding the payment of utilities, Mr. Ayariga advocated the formation and strengthening of consumer associations to hold the utilities accountable and ensure that consumers pay the right tariffs.

Source: GNA