The Revenue Protection Unit at the Head Office of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) collected GH¢4,453,923.94 from 93 illegal activities by some people between January and September this year.
The amount exceeds the total charge of GH¢4,331,248.42 being the cash component of 2,804.597 kilowatt hour of units recovered from the illegal activities carried out by those people during the period.
“We have been able to collect all the total charge of GH¢4,331,248.42; 100 per cent under the period, as well as three per cent of last year’s debt. These things happen because we schedule debts for customers who are owing us,” the General Manager of the Revenue Protection Unit at the ECG Head Office, Mr Michael Twum-Barima Boadu, told the Daily Graphic.
He said the illegal activities represented 1.8 per cent of the 5,307 meters that were screened from January to the third quarter of this year.
“Within the period under review, January to September, 2018, the Revenue Protection Unit at the head office visited 5,307 meters. We were able to screen all of them and out of these, 93 had problems,” he said.
Mr Boadu explained that there were 36 cases of meter bypass, 12 cases of meter tampering or fidgeting, while 45 units were recovered.
He noted that the screening was a continuous exercise by the unit, saying that it was a regular part of its activities.
“We go round, visit meters and conduct commercial investigations, whereby we go into our own database to check certain malpractices or anomalies. So this is just for the technical activities that we have undertaken, but if it comes to the actual commercial investigations that we do in our system, that one too we have recovered a lot of money,” he said.
Mr Boadu said although the 93 cases were about 1.8 per cent of the 5,307 meters screened, the amount involved was huge.
“Some customers are doing well, but if you look at 93 customers and the amount of money that we have recovered, you will see that it is very huge. For instance, if you have about 200 people engaging in illegal activities, you can imagine the money ECG will be losing,” he said.
According to him, it was because of the educational programmes embarked upon by the company that some people had stopped doing illegal activities because once a person was caught, he/she was surcharged, penalised and, in extreme cases, sent to court.
He urged all customers to be law-abiding, sympathise with the company in the sense that it bought power to sell.
“We are paying huge sums of money on a monthly basis and the company must recoup that money through revenue collection. So if people steal electricity, they short-change us in terms of the revenues that are expected to be collected to be able to pay the independent power producers,” he added.
The screening of the meters, he said, was routine, as there were men out on the field conducting checks every now and then, since it was not known who would be tampering with a meter and at what time.