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Government does not owe us – ECG settles debate

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The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has corroborated claims by government that a GHC2.63 billion legacy debt owed to the company has been cleared in fullness.

This should certainly settle the running heated debate between government and the opposition National Democratic (NDC) over the truth or otherwise of the Energy Minister’s announcement made some four days ago.

A former Deputy Energy Minister under the erstwhile Mahama Administration, John Jinapor in a radio interview on Wednesday, a day after the announcement had been made, vehemently rebutted the assertion by government, which rebuttal was responded to in equal measure.

But ECG has today, Friday, May 22, 2020 clarified the issue indicating that indeed the said payments have been made.

Validating Mr John Peter Amewu’s statements, the company in a release signed by its Managing Director, Kwame Agyeman-Budu noted that government has in fact overpaid its debts, leaving it with a credit balance of over GHC500 million.

“A reconciliation exercise was undertaken by ECG with all its suppliers including VRA and the Independent Power Producers (IPPs) as well as the Ministry of Finance (MoF) for the end of year 2019, where all forms of “government debt” made up of MDA bills, consumption by Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL), Government subsidies and shortfall in Public Lighting for the period 2010-2019 was reconciled.

“We established that as at end of 2016, total GoG indebtedness to ECG netting off all government payments was GHS2.63billion. ECG further realized that between 2017 and 2019 GoG averagely paid Ghs2billion directly to ECG’s suppliers (i.e. VRA, IPPs and GRIDCo) to defray GoG’s indebtedness to ECG,” the statement said.

It added that “total GoG account as at end of 2019 has a credit balance of GHS 505.8million. Considering the GoG’s average bill of GHC100million a month, the outstanding GoG credit of GHC505.8million is enough to pay its bill for January to April 2020.”

The Managing Director further gave the indication that government has in addition paid an amount of GHC4.14billion directly to various fuel suppliers and power producers, which amount he said is yet to be credited to GoG’s account under the ongoing reconciliation exercise.

Mr Agyeman-Budu however clarified that even though the payments made were not directly deposited into ECG’s account, the direct payments to “our suppliers have cleared our books of GoG’s indebtedness after a successful reconciliation with our suppliers.”

“Indeed, this positive intervention by GoG is very well appreciated by ECG because the company’s balance sheet is now stronger than before,” the statement said.

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