One of the most debated issues recently in Ghana is the increments in tariffs, that is, electricity, water and even fuel.
The Public Utility and Regulatory Commission (PURC) recently revealed their plans of approving the new ECG and water tariffs. The high tariffs have steeply affected the populace –both at homes and in commercial spaces and spurred several concerns.
When gijonlinenews went out to talk to individuals and businesses, the feedback was the same; the increment is feared to have a negative impact on both the individuals’ live and their work.
According to one entrepreneur (hairdresser), “we are working for nothing”. “Electricity will soon be patronized by only the rich” she said, pointing out that all money earned in carrying out their services is used to purchase prepaid. She claimed, their jobs are gradually becoming a thankless one and put the youth off from learning it as a profession.
Another person (seamstress apprentice) claimed, she has to learn the job for five years instead of the normal four years since the little prepaid purchased by her madam is used in sewing cloths brought by customers and therefore limit their everyday practice.
The incessant increment in tariffs has not only affected small scale businesses, larger businesses have also been forced to sack workers. Speaking to a warehouse manager at the north industrial area he revealed, they can’t break-even let alone to talk about making profit and therefore has to lay-off some of the workers since they can’t pay them.
Educational institutions and students are also affected by the energy crisis and tariffs increments. A student revealed, they have been “slapped with an upward adjustment” in school and hostel fees.
Few individuals on the street also expressed their frustration as they urge the government to fix the energy crisis and they wouldn’t have any qualms paying the imposed amount.
Ghanaians called on the government to invest in energy and water sector infrastructures and ensure that those basic necessities were available before it talked about so-called realistic tariffs, hammering that “ tariffs, no matter how high they are pegged cannot and should not be substituted for the core investments in energy and water the government ought to be making”.
Gyane Ansong Festus.