Veteran journalist Kwesi Pratt Jnr in August last year appeared to warn Ghanaians about the Coronavirus reliefs which was being provided by government.
President Akufo-Addo had earlier announced at the onset of the outbreak in the country that Ghanaians would enjoy a free water supply as well as absorbed electricity bills for three months ending in June as part of measures to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 pandemic.
The government intervention was supposed to end in June but the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, delivering the 2020 mid-year budget review on Thursday, July 23, 2020, put more smiles on the faces of Ghanaians by announcing the government has extended the free water and electricity supplies for another three months.
But reacting to the development Kwesi Pratt noted on Peace FM’s Kokrokoo that, “We should not forget the fact we’re going to pay for it. Why am I saying we’ll pay for it? Where is the money coming from? Is it not from our taxes? We’ll surely payback.”
Less than a year on, Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has indicated that Ghanaians will have to pay for the free provision of water and electricity introduced by the government in 2020 as part of measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
He explained in an interview on JoyNews that “It was free to the people of Ghana at the time,” adding that, “When we say free electricity it doesn’t mean that the IPP producer is also going to say because the President has said free electricity, I won’t charge for it.”
Read the full article first published by Peace FM below:
Seasoned journalist, Kwesi Pratt Jnr has expressed concerns over President Nana Akufo-Addo’s free water and electricity supply, claiming Ghanaians will payback next year.
Kwesi Pratt predicted that next year water and electricity tariffs will see an astronomical increase as a result of the President’s freebies.
“I will not be surprised if next year tariffs on water and electricity go up.”
He made this comment during a panel discussion on Peace FM’s flagship programme ”Kokrokoo”.
Free water; free power
President Akufo-Addo, beginning in April this year, provided free water supply and absorbed electricity bills for all Ghanaians for the three months ending in June as part of measures to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 pandemic.
This government intervention was supposed to end in June but the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, delivering the 2020 mid-year budget review on Thursday, July 23, 2020, put more smiles on the faces of Ghanaians by announcing the government has extended the free water and electricity supplies for another three months.
“Mr. Speaker, the reason is simple. It is because we put the concerns and aspirations of the ordinary Ghanaian first. That is also why we further reduced electricity prices by half and completely provided potable water for free for everybody since March this year. And we will extend it for another 3 months. To break it down, it takes a caring government of the people, and with that, I mean, a Government of all the people, to offer cost-free water to all across the country: representing all domestic and commercial customers in Ghana for three months.
“It takes a caring government to be for the people and for business, large and small, to choose to subsidize electricity consumption by 50 percent to 4 million (4,086,286) households and nearly 700,000 (686,522) businesses at a cost of GH¢1.02 billion in three months. And we will extend the coverage for lifeline customers for another 3 months,” he said on the floor of Parliament.
Prepare to refund
The Managing Editor of the Insight newspaper, Kwesi Pratt Jnr, however, asked Ghanaians not to be too enthused about Akufo-Addo government’s giveaways because they are not free.
“We should not forget the fact we’re going to pay for it. Why am I saying we’ll pay for it? Where is the money coming from? Is it not from our taxes? We’ll surely payback,” he told host Kwami Sefa Kayi.
On the issue of the President’s performance, Mr. Pratt Jnr questioned why it should be said that the government has undertaken developmental projects that will benefit all Ghanaians, asking “has it ever occurred that a President undertook developmental projects specifically for his wife, children and family only? It’s never happened before. So, where from all these statements about he (President Akufo-Addo) did these developments for all of us and so forth?”