Tamale NGO calls for review in utility tariffs
Tamale NGO calls for review in utility tariffs Website
Tamale, Nov. 10, GNA - The Northern Ghana Aid (NOGAID) a Tamale based international development NGO has appealed to the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) to review the utility tariffs in the country to favour the poor to enhance their economic survival. In a statement issued in Tamale and signed by Mr. Mustapha Sanah, Executive Director of NOGAID said numerous questions were left unanswered by the PURC in justifying the reality underpinning the need for tariffs increases. The statement said removal of subsidies meant that consumers pay realistic tariffs for utilities and services in a way that enables recovery of the full cost of production. Mr. Sanah said however, that the policy had given little consideration to the majority of Ghanaians particularly the poor who patronise these services and that reviewing the tariffs would mean having the plight of the poor at heart. The statement said the country's utility industry needed more and vigorous attention than just adjusting tariffs in relation to increases of crude oil in the world market adding that despite the country's economic gains there was still high unemployment rate and low income levels. This, the statement, said would defeat the country's move to eliminate extreme poverty saying, "Poverty reduction is a key national economic strategy therefore blatant increases in tariffs without careful consideration of other competing national objectives would negate the gains so far made under the GPRS I and II. "Majority of the people in Ghana, particularly those from the three Northern Regions are trapped in the poverty web and can not afford to pay high tariffs," it said and that there was the need to introduce Discriminating Pricing Policy to allow the rich and corporate community to pay more tariffs. The NGO challenged the PURC to widen the search for long lasting solution to the country's utility problems in line with the National Poverty Alleviation goals as a means of reducing poverty for sustainable development.