Vice President John Dramani Mahama on Tuesday directed the Utility companies to step up their performance in order to justify the recent upward tariff adjustments.
“Ghanaians are increasingly becoming disturbed about your services and there is a dire need for you to set up performance targets and standards coupled with better supervision in order to churn out better services to your customers,” he said.
Vice President Mahama gave the directive when he held an emergency meeting with the utility companies to learn at first hand, their major challenges and how government could intervene to improve on the seemingly deteriorating services.
The meeting was attended by Mr Cephas Gakpo, Managing Director of Electricity of Company of Ghana (ECG), Nii Okine Kotei of the Public Utility Regulatory Commission, Mr Martin Nijsse, Managing Director of Aqua Vitens Rand Limited, Mr Charles Darko, Chief Executive officer of GRIDCO and Madam Alexandra Totoe of Volta River Authority.
The Vice President said the current performance of the companies was below standards and highly unacceptable, considering the “hew and cry” that arose during the recent tariff adjustments.
He identified lack of communication between the companies and customers as one of the major challenges they needed to solve to pave way for understanding and cordial relationship.
Vice President Mahama categorically mentioned water and electricity providing companies for their failure to inform their customers in challenges they faced.
“Fortunately, there are a lot of radio stations in the country and yet the service providers often fail to announce to their customers, problems they are facing until they (customers) start making noise, which I personally think is not good enough.
“The frequent water shortages in some parts of the cities and power outage are not good signs of development and you need to change your style to win the sympathy of your customers outside there,” he stressed.
He said government was currently channelling a lot of resources into the utility companies and it would therefore be unfair for them to continue with “such attitudes towards the improvement of services”.
The Vice President appealed to the service providers to strengthen their supervisory roles to ensure that all sectors were working effectively to meet their targets.
Mr Gakpo, said since March this year, his outfit had spent a total of $430 million on projects towards the improvement of electricity supply.
He attributed the recent power outages in some parts of Accra to the high factory demand of the commodity, prompting the ECG to step up production to meet the supply deadline for Christmas.
Mr Martin Nijsse, Managing Director of Aqua Vitens Rand Limited said with the expansion of the Kpong Hydro Machines water supply would improve even to areas that hitherto were not getting supply.