The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has confirmed it indeed disconnected power supply to 41 properties at Redrow Developments Limited’s estate at the East Legon Hills in Accra last week. It has also billed the estate GH¢22,056.1 after it found eight of the disconnected estate houses were using electricity illegally.
The estate agency has so far paid GH¢8,000, the District Technical Officer of the East Legon District Office of ECG, Mr Afukar Sampson, disclosed in an interview with Graphiconline’s correspondent Mabel Aku Baneseh.
Mr Sampson could not state the exact period the illegal connection and enjoyment of power supply began, but explained the ECG had its method of calculating such losses.
He further explained that “most real estate companies do their own internal connections, give each household meters or bill in bulk. In this instance, some of the homes had meters but they were mostly billed in bulk while others paid nothing for the power supplied them.”
Narrating the incident to the Graphiconline, Mr Sampson noted that his outfit sometime last week, received reports of illegal connection activities at the estate.
“We went there with our estimator called Emmanuel Bediako and we found that some homes had meters while others did not. We also found some were enjoying power illegally. We called our Director of Customer Services who instructed us to liaise with the Regional Connection Manager to inform the Loss Control Unit to remove the cables from the illegally connected areas,” Mr Sampson explained.
“On Thursday, May 21, 2015, ECG officials disconnected 16 homes while 25 additional homes were disconnected the following day. Around 3 pm on Friday, representatives from Redrow Estates met with ECG Accra’s Loss Control Unit and at the end we came up with a GH¢22,000 bill for them to settle. Redrow Estate paid GH¢8,000 on behalf of their customers,” Mr Sampson said.
According to Mr Sampson, his outfit also observed that the estate company had connected some properties to power but those buildings were yet to be occupied.
He further explained that the ECG was investigating the matter to determine the actual loss incurred.
Yvonne Nelson factor
Popular actress, Ms Yvonne Nelson, who lives in the estate, has been accused by sections of the media as enjoying power supply illegally.
But Mr Sampson explained that, “no individual is to be blamed. It is the Redrow Estates that is being held responsible for this lapse.”
Ms Nelson led thousands of Ghanaians on May 16, 2015, on a vigil to protest against the incessant power cuts popular termed as “Dumsor.”
The success of her protest march dubbed “DumsorMustStop” according to some pundits, had resulted in a witch-hunt, but an official of the Public Affairs Directorate of the ECG, Mr Dan Agyei-Larbi has denied the rumours.
He said “disconnection of homes for non payment of bills and illegal connection is an ongoing exercise. We receive tip-offs daily while our own internal investigations also lead us to culprits. It is an ongoing exercise which is not targeted at any individual. The focus is on all companies and persons who have decided to enjoy electricity for free at the expense of a wider population.”
We do not pay bills directly
In a separate interview with the Graphiconline, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Redrow Developments Limited, Mr. Christopher Aryeetey, said “we usually do not pay electricity billsdirectly on behalf of our clients but in this regard we did it because our contractor did not complete the procedure for acquisition of meters for the affected households. The affected households are new and when there is no meter, we usually arrange with ECG for clients to pay fixed rates. But in this instance, the contractor did not complete arrangements. We hope to procure meters for the affected households before the end of the week,” Mr Aryeetey noted.
Meanwhile, a statement through Mr. Aryeetey, on behalf of Redrow Development Ltd. has absolved Ms Nelson of any wrongdoing.
The statement said “we would like to state that the assertion and reports that the entire Redrow Estates has been disconnected is not true.
Further, electricity supply to our client, Yvonne Nelson, who is a resident and the focus of the media stories, has not been disconnected, as reported. We would like to further add that her property is properly metered, and, therefore, has legal electricity connection.”
According to the statement, the company does not condone the illegal use of electricity.
“Redrow Developments sub-contracted the connection and installation of electricity to our estates to an electrical firm. Unfortunately the contractor misinformed management on: status of availability of meters from ECG, and their (ECG) processes for connection of electricity as a temporary measure. Upon an inspection by officials of ECG to our estate, they drew our attention to the illegal connections of 12 houses, and further issued penalties, part of which has been paid. Earnest arrangements are underway, with the great support of ECG to install meters for the affected houses. We would like to thank our clients for their patience and the ECG for their co-operation,” the statement added.
Source: Daily Graphic