Energy Minister, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, has explained why no group of people in the country can refuse to pay their electricity bills but expect to be supplied with the utility.
His comment comes amid the latest impasse between the Electricity Company of Ghana and a section of the people in the Krobo areas of the Eastern Region.
The Minister in an interview on Asempa FM earlier this week explained that he had conferred with traditional leaders in the area and has asked that they meet with the ECG for an amicable settlement to allow the power supplier to resume service to the area.
He also addressed a perennial underlying factor for which some people in the area have protested against ECG, the subject of a so-called agreement with the Nkrumah government that Krobos should not pay for electricity for some five decades, with the reason being that the Akosombo Dam is on their land.
“No one can claim that they will not pay their electricity bill. With due respect, if ECG and NEDCo supply you with light and you refuse to pay, then you don’t deserve it.
Akosombo does not belong to the Krobo people, it belongs to the people of Akwamufie, even the people whose land was used to build the Akosombo Dam are not on strike. They have no legitimate claim for refusing to pay their electricity bills.
“They (sections of Krobo youth) claim Kwame Nkrumah said 50 years after Akosombo, they shouldn’t pay for electricity, that claim is illegitimate,” the Minister stressed.
The recent impasse between the ECG and people in the area has to do with the installation of pre-paid meters and the withdrawal of post-paid meters.
The ECG has at points in time had to deploy soldiers to help protect their staff who were attacked in some places.
Some youth groups in the Krobo areas have often cited the agreement that supposedly exempts them from paying for electricity during protests over the years.
The MoU, the youth claim, was signed after the construction of the Akosombo Dam and it contained a clause that exempted Krobo lands and other areas within 27 miles radius of the dam from paying electricity bills, a 2017 Graphic Online report noted.
Interestingly, their chiefs have serially denied the existence of that agreement.