Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Information Minister, has specified that Ghanaians will have to pay for the free supply of water and electricity initiated by the authorities in the year 2020 as a part of measures to help the spread of the story coronavirus.
President Akufo-Addo in April 2020, introduced a free utility package for the unsafe in the country to reduce the virus’ negative impact following a lockdown in Accra and Kumasi .
Again, Akufo-Addo in his 21st address to the country stated, “With the continuing difficulties occasioned by the pandemic, I want to state that authorities intends to continue to support the most vulnerable in our society.
“Government will, thus, continue to pay the electricity bills for our nation’s one million active lifeline customers for the next 3 months, i.e. January, February and March.”
But talking on PM: Express Monday, Mr Nkrumah stated “It was free to the people of Ghana at the time.”
As reported by him, the choice last year was because the pandemic was a impending crisis and the authorities had to improvise for the country’s well-being.
“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.”
Talking to Evans Mensah, Mr Nkrumah stated Ghana has spent about ¢19 billion on Covid-19 linked issues and that includes the comfort package on the utilities.
“But that 19 billion cedis has to be paid for at some point, the liabilities we have incurred has to be paid for,” he specified Monday night.
“So I am going back to Ofoasi to explain to my people why we need to ensure that we all pay that 1% extra so that we can continue to provide those services for the people of Ghana to protect lives and livelihoods,” he stated.
He continued, “get our people collectively across the device to understand that at some point, we have to get out of this economic one-step-forward half-a step-back, sometimes one step forward, two steps backwards conundrum in which we find ourselves.
“To do that, we cannot consistently borrow our way out of our problems, domestic resource mobilisation has to be tweaked and it has to be done in a way that you can raise resources without overburdening the people.”
“everything we consume in this country is paid for.”
“If not, we will arrive at that graph you showed us earlier where the gap keeps widening.”
According to him, the government’s decision to provide the free utilities was a planned choice made on behalf of Ghanaians.