An estimated One thousand workers in the cold store and Corn mill industry at Agbogbloshie market in the Greater Accra Region are to lose their jobs in the next three months over the installation of some faulty pre-paid metres by the Electricity Company of Ghana(ECG).
According to the members of the Coldstore and Corn Mill Operators, credit bought on the metres run like tap water.
The group further alleged that the pre-paid metres are not calibrated by the Ghana Standards Authority(GSA).
Speaking at a press conference organized by the operators in Accra, the General Secretary of the group, Mr Moses Deh said the situation is worrying and disturbing to many of the members of the group.
Below is the statement the group delivered at the press conference
A voice reaches the government most especially our able and reliable president his Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo the president of the Republic of Ghana. Mr President, We Salute You!
Our dear press men and women present here, we called you this morning to cover our displeasure which we are expressing, concerning the attitude of Electricity Company of Ghana towards some of us their clients most especially cold stores and other food processors which use heavy machines in the various markets.
In November 2020, the Electricity Company of Ghana Korle-Bu District to our amazement stormed the market with new meters which we have no prior notice of, we immediately seek the intervention of the district manager to hold on with the project for a dialogue before.
Mr. President, we made legitimate efforts through all possible means to understand the functioning system of these new meters we described as “Usain Bolt” through several letters to the following departs: Electricity Company Of Ghana addressed to the Managing Director, Korle-Bu District and also Ministry of Energy.
We also held two meetings with Korle-Bu District, one meeting with regional ECG office Avenor with one Mr. Fiador.
We again had meeting with energy ministry and BNI but all these efforts failed.
Mr. President our own checks about these new meters proved to us that, these meters were not calibrated by Ghana Standard Authority (G.S.A) and it is giving us unreasonable and unacceptable readings which result to higher cost of consumption per 24hours.
This project started from Korle-Bu district specifically Agbogbloshie market and if this could be extended to the nationwide, all coldstore businesses would collapsed in the country.
We were the people who suffered the most during the era of power outages (Dumsor) and this time around too, why us?
Many of our members lost their businesses and some of us are highly indebted to banks and suppliers.
We can even say with authority that some are at the verge of committing suicide.
Dear president, we have lost hope and confidence in Electricity company of Ghana. We don’t know and can not tell if they intend acting in that manner in order to recoup their loses from our business or to collapse our businesses before they can operate the company. They have already told us that nothing can be done about it so they could not be of help that is why we are crying to you Mr. President to come to our aid otherwise over one thousand (1000) people will lose their jobs. We find it difficult to even purchase credit on these smart and sensitive meters sometimes due to network failures.
Your Excellency, We can emphatically tell you that out of the seven cold stores that these meters were installed three (3) have already been closed down, for the period of 60days of operations and 23 workers were laid off due to negligence of ECG. Some others too are planning to close down their stores and we anticipate if nothing is done about it as a matter of urgency, all cold stores and corn millers businesses would be collapsed by this outrageous bills.
We had bitter experiences in the past and we are very scared to go through it at this time again. We are daring the electricity company of Ghana that they have not calibrated these Usain Bolt prepaid meters through the Ghana Standard Authority and if they claim they did, we want to see the certificate of each meter being published publicly. We are challenging them today and we continue to challenge them to come out publicly and publish the Ghana Standard Authority’s Certificate.
Your Excellency, we know you are a listening president. We are appealing to you to do something about this problem for us so that we can also survive. ECG is killing us, while you have a good conscience for small business entrepreneurs to grow in this country, some of the people under you see it another way round. Many people would lose their income which cushions their daily livings through the scrupulous attitudes of E.C.G officials.
Mr. President, charges for our weekly consumptions have suddenly jumped to about 800%. For example; a cold store operation that used to buy credit for the previous meter at GHc 2,000.00 a week is now buying GHc 8,400.00, receipts are here with us to testify to this evidence.
Another client who used to buy GHc 80.00 a day is now buying GHc240.00.
We know that when you come in as our father we shall get to the bottom of this issue. All our plea were rejected by ECG.
“Ya pim oo!” “Ya pim!” as Akans say.
We know that you are the only one who can listen to us now so we are pleading with you once again to come to our aid.
We thank you very much for listening to us and we know you have us at your heart, we are looking forward to hearing from you soon.
God bless you, Long live Ghana, Long live our Dear President.