20,000 Fake electricity meters discovered in Accra East Region
MORE than 20,000 electricity meters installed within the Accra East Region of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) are fake.
The meters are estimated to cost the power distribution company about GH¢2 million in revenue loss monthly.
They were identified in homes in eight operational ECG districts in the region — Makola, Legon, Mampong, Kwabenya, Dodowa, Adenta, Teshie and Roman Ridge.
Bearing the inscription: ‘Property of the Ministry of Power (Ghana Electrometer)’, some of the meters were confiscated in the Ayi-Mensah/Kweiman Electoral Area and its environs during the initial stages of an ongoing nationwide revenue mobilisation exercise which is expected to end on April 20, this year.
It also emerged, during the exercise conducted by the Accra East Region of the ECG at Ayi Mensah on April 14, that some of the suspects had illegally reconnected power directly from the supply pole.
The Commercial Manager in charge of the Accra East Region of the ECG, Jonathan Asante, in an interview with the Daily Graphic during the exercise, said investigations showed that the fake meters were not part of the self-help electrification programme (SHEP) approved by the Ministry of Energy.
According to him, the SHEP meters were introduced by the government to encourage communal participation or self-help developmental initiatives in communities.
He added that the fake meters, which caused fire outbreaks, had not been certified or approved by either the Energy Commission (EC) or the ECG.
The manager further said investigations indicated that the fake meters had been installed in the homes of some unsuspecting consumers across the country.
“It is estimated that about 20,000 of these fake meters are in existence in the Accra East Region alone.
We have also intercepted some from the Central, Ashanti, Volta and Great Accra regions.
“Very soon, we will close in on the people behind this illegality, but our initial checks show that the fake meters were smuggled into the country from Togo,” Mr Asante said.
A Communications Officer in charge of the ECG Accra East Region, Mary Eshun-Oppong, said the exercise was part of the ongoing revenue mobilisation programme by the company, including checking the integrity of electricity meters.
She explained that the Dodowa District initially undertook the exercise in the area and realised that meters installed in about 40 homes were fake and they were confiscated.
“On our return today, we realised that they have reconnected the power back to their homes and so we have taken the cables down and issued a notice directing them to appear at the ECG office to be taken through the proper process of securing legitimate meters.
“Those who have connected through illegal means will be sanctioned and the appropriate penalties paid,” she said.
The Assembly Member for the Ayi-Mensah/Kweiman Electoral Area, Peter Kudjo Geh, admitted assisting some of the residents to procure the fake meters.
He claimed that the meters were procured from a colleague assembly member but denied any knowledge of it being fake or substandard.
“I was part of those who helped some of them to secure the meters, and if today they have turned out to be fake, I cannot challenge that.
But we did that to help the community,” he said.
He expressed readiness to assist the ECG and the security agencies to conduct investigations into the matter.