The Minority Spokesperson on Energy, Adams Mutawakilu, has asked the government to clarify if it has abandoned the Mahama government’s solar rooftop project for small businesses.
President John Mahama’s National Democratic Congress government was targeting the setting up of 200,000 rooftop solar projects for small businesses and residential users.
The status of the project is unclear, and the NDC MP, speaking on Eyewitness News, questioned if the solar rooftop project would not rather provide better consumer relief than the recently announced average of a 14 percent reduction in electricity tariffs for non-residential users.
Mr. Mutawakilu noted that, the solar project also targeted small businesses like tailors and hairdressers, which President Akufo-Addo announced were to be the immediate beneficiaries of the tariff reduction.
During the-President Mahama’s State of the Nation Address in 2016, he indicated that “several small and medium enterprises have been provided with rooftop solar following my announcement of a target of 200,000 rooftop solar projects for small businesses and residential users.”
Mr. Mutawakilu said the solar project, “by the end of 2015 covered about 1,000 customers where solar rooftops are mounted on these hairdressers’ shops so that, at the end of the day, they don’t depend on the national grid, thereby giving the relief.”
“So we would like to know government’s position on that. Have they cancelled it? If they have cancelled it, is it actually benefiting compared to the solar rooftops where they will no more depend on the national grid and they don’t pay any electricity bills? Which of these will be better? Government should state its position. If they are still going on with it, they should let us know. If they have abandoned it, they should let us know,” the MP stated.
The President, in his well-received tariff reduction announcement, revealed that barbers will have tariffs reduced by 18 percent; 15.7 percent for hairdressers and beauticians, and for tailors, 9.8 percent.
Following this, Mr. Mutawakilu also questioned the basis of specific reductions for specific non-residential groups in light of the fact the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission [PURC], had six broad consumer groups; residential, non-residential, special load tariff (low voltage), special load tariff (medium voltage), special load tariff (high voltage) and high voltage mines.
“We have not reclassified them to individuals such as barbers, tailors and hairdressers,” the NDC MP remarked.
By: Delali Adogla-Bessa/citifmonline.com/Ghana
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