ECG owes Bui Power over $600m - PAC urges quick recovery
The Bui Power Authority (BPA) has been advised to expedite its rate of recovering a $614, 373,274.36 debt owed it by the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).
This is because the money owed the power generator has been indicated to be adversely affecting its ability to operate effectively and deliver on its mandate.
The Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament, Dr James Klutse Avedzi, gave the advice when the Ministry of Energy and its agencies took their turn before the committee to answer queries raised by the Auditor General for the year 2022.
“The indebtedness will not go out completely at any point in time, it will continue because every day there is production, sale and repayment by the buyer, so what is more important is the rate at which the debt is being recovered,” he stressed.
According to the report, the ECG owed the authority $386 million as at the end of December 31, 2019, which increased to $614, 373,274.36 by the end of 2022.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the BPA, Kofi Dzamesi, explained that the authority was not gaining any receivables from the ECG despite trying its best to generate more power for the country.
He added that last year, the BPA generated more power than any year in the history of the authority since it was commissioned.
“We generated about 1,540 gigawatts and our profit margin for last year should be hitting around $70 million, yet we are not getting anything,” he lamented.
The PAC Chairman equally urged the Ministry of Finance to take more steps to ensure that all government agencies settled the debts they owed one another.
“They should ensure that at least, they settle some of the debt the ECG owes other agencies like Bui and VRA because they buy the power from these two sources,” he said.
The Minister of Energy, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, also recommended that steps should be taken to ensure the ECG was financially viable as it continued to deal with Independent Power Producers (IPPs).
Charging in dollars
Dr Avedzi also urged agencies in the energy sector as well as other government agencies to refrain from charging their fees in foreign currencies, particularly, the United States dollars.
“Our currency is Ghana Cedi, ECG will sell the power and collect cedis and they will now go chasing to buy dollars in order to pay,” he said.