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The Director of Research and Corporate Affairs at the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC), Dr. Eric Kofi Obutey has expressed confidence in the integrity of the Board members of ECG to pay the imposed fine of GHC5.8m for failing to notify its customers about power outages.

According to Dr Obutey, the Board members are capable of paying the fine as they understand they need to be personally accountable for not notifying power consumers of outages between January and March this year.

“I believe that ECG and its Board members are men and women of conscience who have every ability to pay,” he stated.

Originally, the fine was slapped on ECG, but the PURC said it could not allow the company to bear the cost due to the nature of its business, and the likely impact on service delivery. It thus passed on the fine to the company’s Board members.

These funds he says will be utilized to procure essential machinery and resources aimed at enhancing the reliability of electricity supply, thereby ensuring consumers receive uninterrupted power.

In an exclusive conversation with Nana Yaa Brefo and Isaac Ekow JB on Onua FM’s  Yen Nsempa on April 15, Dr. Obutey emphasized that by penalizing the Board instead of the entity, the PURC aims to prevent ECG from simply using its funds from consumers to settle the penalty, which would ultimately burden Ghanaians.

“ECG is run by a Board; the Board gives strategic direction to ECG. Whatever decision is made by ECG, it’s the Board that mandates it. In the interests of the public, if we impose this fine directly on ECG, ECG will go back into its coffers and take the money from the ECG coffers.

“Now, that money that ECG will bring to pay is to be paid by you and I, the consumers. So, if we impose the fine on ECG directly, it will amount to them taking your own money and paying back again and they will say they have paid.”

Dr. Obutey further highlighted that the fines imposed on the ECG Board are mandated to be deposited into a designated Fuel Account managed by the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Energy on or before 30th May 2024.

His comment comes after the board members of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), who served in office from 1st January to 18th March 2024, are to pay a regulatory charge of Five Million, Eight Hundred and Sixty-Eight Thousand Ghana Cedis (GHS5, 868,000.00) in fines for superintending over power outages without any notification to power consumers between January and March this year.

The board includes the ECG MD, Samuel Mahama Dubik and eight others. The current Deputy Energy Minister, Herbert Krapah chairs the Board, but he won’t be affected as his tenure falls outside the period of the regulatory orders.

Keli Gadzekpo, who resigned as Board Chairman three weeks ago, will be affected by this fine. Chief Whip, Frank Annor Dompreh and five other individuals are all affected.

By Lois Dogbe