MP for Bongo who doubles as member of the parliamentary Select Committee on Mines and Energy, Edward Abambire Bawa, has hinted of the Committee’s resolve to hold a stakeholder meeting in Tamale over recent attacks on staff of Northern Electricity Department (NEDCo) of the Volta River Authority (VRA).
Apart from the institution recording monthly loses of over GH¢ 9 million to power theft in Tamale metropolis alone, the constant attacks on staff of NEDCo anytime attempts are made to collect electricity tariffs or install new meters for residents has been a greater challenge.
According to Mr. Bawa, the committee shall run an autopsy into the never-ending stealing of electricity within the Tamale Metropolis.
He further advised residents to desist from the routine of power thefts and attacks on officials of service providers, because it is not possible for anybody to use electricity and refuse to pay.
Mr. Edward Bawa speaking in an interview on 3FM’s morning show monitored by Robicon Mornahson, Monday indicated that the committee on Mines and Energy intend to hold a stakeholder engagement in Tamale later this year in an attempt to address these issues.
We shall bring all the chiefs and the people together to tell them the need to get these things solved because it is for their own survival.
NEDCO covers 64% of the landmarks of Ghana comprising Ashanti Region, Bono, the whole of northern regions and Tamale metropolis area has the highest consumption of power and this is where illegal power connection is high, he added.
There has been a political expediency involved in these power thefts. If you are the CEO and the appointing President says don’t do this, you cannot do that, he further noted.
Volta River Authority and Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCo) staff in Tamale were on strike for over a month in demand of better protection after several complaints of attacks on them by residents.
In their communiqué, they alleged that, residents in the Metropolis are bent on preventing VRA/NEDCo staff from doing any revenue mobilization activities.
There were earlier tensions late last year, when some customers were also assaulted by police during routine monitoring and power theft check operations in some suburbs of Tamale.
The Northern Regional Minister, Shani Alhassan Saibu, at the time called for calm and assured the workers of safer working conditions.