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ECG cracks down on fake meter users in Adeiso

BY: Dickson Worlanyo Dotse

The Accra West Region of the Electricity Company of Ghana has started a crackdown on users of fake and illegal electricity meters at Adeiso and surrounding areas in the Eastern Region.

The action, the company said, followed a tip-off it received concerning the massive use of such fake and illegal meters in those areas.

Within half an hour of the start of the operation last week, the task force dismantled about 10 fake meters, with their users summoned to report to the company’s district office at Nsawam to have them replaced.

The operation which is covering Daaman, Sakyikrom, Amoakrom, Duadekye, Nfoaso and Kofisah, is expected to last for two weeks.
Other areas to be covered are Newtown, Akwamu, Oparekrom, Nkyenenkyene and Amanfrom.

Purpose

The Revenue Protection Manager of the ECG Accra West Region, Dr Mark Owusu-Ansah, who led the operation, said the exercise was an attempt to reach the syndicate behind the distribution of the fake meters.


He, therefore, encouraged the public to desist from engaging private individuals who try to sell them these illegal meters.

“The ECG is the only institution mandated to distribute power, so if you engage anybody who is not mandated to perform that function, you will end up bearing the consequences,” Dr Owusu-Ansah said.

He added that it was not the intention of the company to deprive people of power, but rather to end the loss of revenue to the state.

Just toys

Describing the illegal meters as toys, Dr Owusu-Ansah demonstrated that they were just cases with heavy glasses making them appear authentic.

“Inside the meter itself, it is empty because all you can find is a circuit which cannot measure energy usage. It is only a display board.

“There is a bar directly connecting the output and input terminals, so in effect, there is no meter at all; it’s a direct connection,” he explained.

He further explained that “criminals” were using certain features like pasting the tag of Ghana Electrometer (GEM), the company responsible for making the meters used by ECG, on the meters to make them look genuine.

Punishment

The Communications Officer of the ECG Accra West Region, Fred Baimbill-Johnson, said as punishment, the users would be billed for all the power they had used since they installed the illegal meters.

“We surcharge you for the unpaid power you’ve used, and then we hand you over to the police who are helping with the investigations,” he said.