Online sales of electricity prepaid credit to start soon

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The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), will soon commence the sale of prepaid electricity credit online through its yet-to-be-launched mobile application.

The Managing Director of the company, Samuel Appiah, who said this at a news conference, said the project will be piloted before being rolled out officially for public use.

According to him, the technology will help avoid a recurrence of the current troubles the company is having with some of its prepared systems in the country.

“Going forward, the company intends to ensure that all ECG payment metering system will be smart devoid of customers visiting vending points, but instead utilizing a mobile application to purchase credit online,” he said.

In the past two days, hundreds of ECG customers converged on the company’s office at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle, in a desperate attempt to purchase unit.

This has again brought to the fore discussions about the limited application of technology in service delivery in some state agencies, leading to tiresome and ineffective service delivery.

The ECG, which is a major utility company in the country, serves millions of customers in the Southern part of the country.

The company, however, still performs some of its operations manually.

This is happening at a time when the government is preparing to cede 50% of the company to a private investor for some 20 years, as part of the Millennium Compact II agreement with the US government.

In relation the recent challenge that faced ECG, the Bongo Member of Parliament (MP) has charged the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) to ensure that the Electricity Company of Ghana addresses challenges facing customers.

Edward Abambire Bawa said the utility regulator should not fail to crack the whip if the issues with prepaid cards are not resolved as directed.

Speaking to Evans Mensah on Joy FM’s Newsnight Thursday, the lawmaker said the PURC has to monitor ECG closely because it has not been able to solve some of its nagging challenges.

Residents of Dansoman, Korle Bu, Kaneshie and Achimota in Accra have had challenges purchasing prepaid credit since last Sunday.

Long queues have been forming at ECG offices since Monday with reported cases of customers collapsing after spending hours in the sweltering heat trying to purchase power.

ECG officials say the problem was caused by some technical challenges their system is facing and have assured customers of a swift resolution of same.

But the PURC has given ECG up to Friday to fix the problems or face sanctions.

Executive Secretary of PURC, Maame Dufie Ofori said the nation’s power distributor has 24 hours to bring the situation under control.

“As the regulator, it is not a matter of just accepting what the ECG stated as the reason. We have the mandate to investigate [and] we’ve started working on it,” she told Joy News.

But the Bongo MP has criticised officials of ECG for failing to address the issue in a swift manner.

“I get a bit worried [because] there is no explanation for causes of data disappearance,” he said, charging PURC to expedite investigations into the problem.

Source: Adnan Adams Mohammed

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