Krobo power crisis: ‘We can’t compromise on safety of our staff’ – ECG

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The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has confirmed relocating to Juapong in the North Tongu District of the Volta Region for fear for its staff.

The move, according to the General Manager of the company (Tema Region), Engineer Emmanuel Akinie, was to prevent unfortunate incidents from occuring as a result of warnings issued to the ECG staff of the Somanya office to vacate the premises or face dire consequences.

The threats came from a youth group in Krobo land calling itself United Krobo Foundation.

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It follows a violent demonstration that was staged in Yilo Krobo and Lower Manya Krobo municipalities on November 22, 2021 over installation of meters and its related challenges.

If it would be recalled ECG installed a new billing software, Customer Management System (CMS) which was to replace the decades-old billing system, Customer Billing Information System (CBIS).

According the power supplier, the “initial implementation challenges” between 2015 and 2016 “resulted in billing anomalies”.

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The youth believe that the bills which have accumulated over the period have been incorporated into the newly installed meters in the communities, hence the protest against its implementation.

The demonstrators chanted songs such as “ECG away, prepaid away from the Krobo Land” holding placards, some of which read “VRA Krobo’s are fed up”, “No prepaid in Krobo land”, “No bill No prepaid”, “freedom from ECG”, “VRA we need light from you”, ECG must go we want VRA” among others.

On the back of these protestations with threats, the Engineer said “ECG is unable to continue full operations in the affected areas”.

He continued: “Management cannot risk the lives of any of our hardworking staff under such an unsafe environment.”

Emmanuel Akinie made the statement during a press conference held in Accra on December 6, 2021.

For the safety of the staff, he said challenges faced by consumers in the Yilo Krobo and Lower Manya Krobo municipalities would only be addressed if personnel from the Ghana Police Service would escort ECG’s engineers to attend to them.

Meanwhile, other communites and customers will continue to benefit from the power supplier’s services where there are no security issues.

“It must be emphasized that, ECG will continue to provide quality, safe and reliable electricity services to the other parts of the ECG district where security of Staff and installations are guaranteed.”

The company’s Manging Director, Mr. Kwame Agyemang-Budu, backing the position of the Tema Region, noted that despite the skemishes between the service provider and the customers in the area, their outfit is ready to dialogue with all stakeholders to restore peace and normal operations within the affected communities.

In his further submissions, he stated that the company will be willing to resume work in the closed office if there is enough reason to believe that the area is conducive for operations and is void of chaos.

“Our doors will always be opened, and when reason prevails, and the Management of Tema region are convinced that the environment that we have left is safe and harmonious for us to directly operate in these communities, we will not hesitate to give them our approval”

“As a customer-oriented organization, we will never renege on our mandate to provide safe, quality, and reliable power supply to all customers within our operational areas, thereby assisting in the socio-economic development of our country” Mr. Agyemang-Budu assured.

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