The vital role of power in our socio-economic life as a country cannot be underestimated. It is the live wire for most domestic activities and industrial productivity, whether on a small, medium or large scale.
This accounts for why the power challenges that the nation experienced a few years ago had a toll on the economy, with many industries going down and domestic electricity consumers suffering the loss of vital home appliances.
Fortunately, through the hard work of the government, electricity generation seems to be adequate for now, while power is also stable.
Just a few years ago, the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) was operating the postpaid system. Challenges that bedevilled that regime included failure on the part of customers to pay their bills on time, a situation which seriously affected the financial position of the company.
Perhaps if there is one policy decision that has brought about a tremendous increase in cash flow to the ECG, it is the introduction of prepaid meters. Aside from the huge impact their rollout has had on ECG’s finances, their introduction has also reduced collusion between ECG staff and customers to fleece the company through illegal connections.
As we have been told, the ECG now has all meters on its database and can thus detect most fraudulent activities that take place in its system.
It is for these and many other positive reasons that nothing should be allowed to disturb the prepaid metering regime.
But reports that consumers in some suburbs of Accra have been sleeping in darkness for almost a week in this time of power availability is very unfortunate. The reason for this state of affairs is that customers cannot upload their electricity cards from vendors and ECG offices.
The Daily Graphic entreats the ECG to do all it takes to ensure that this problem is resolved as early as possible. Already, people are losing money due to their inability to deliver goods and services. We are moving into the Yuletide and artisans such as tailors, seamstresses and metal fabricators have to meet customers’ deadlines. Therefore, we can only urge the ECG to double its efforts to ensure a speedy resolution of the issue.
The company has said that the problem arose when one of its servers crashed. It is, however, refreshing that it has given an assurance that its engineers are working day and night to rectify the anomaly.
The ECG has done well, but we wonder whether it does not have a back-up! If it does not have it, in spite of the huge data it generates, then it is serious, indeed.
While we appeal to customers to exercise restraint as efforts are put in place to address the problem, we also entreat the ECG to put in measures that will forestall a recurrence of the situation. Can one imagine the chaos if this had happened to a greater part of the country?
Let’s work to ensure that we avoid a repetition of this, since it can create a national security problem and also lead to loss of revenue, especially if customers become fed up and resort to illegal connections.