Management of the Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCo), has denied the assertion by the community members of Nyohini a suburb of the Tamale metropolis.
It would be recalled that, the residents of Nyohini on March 11, 2023, issue a press statement, expressing their anger against NEDCo, on the installation of new smart prepaid meters in the area.
They indicated that NEDCO/ Volta River Authority (VRA), had installed the new meters within the Nyohini community, without any explanations or education on how the new smart pre-paid meters operate.
The residents claimed that, “power consumers of Nyohini have been subjected to deductions which have no basis, and in some cases staff of NEDCO/VRA have attempted to explain those deductions as service charges.
“Our checks reveal that each time we buy power, these service charges apply. Our question here then is, how long will the consumer in Nyohini continue to pay this high service charge which range between Gh¢25 and as high as Gh¢37 in some cases?”, they quizzed.
However, the management of NEDCo through its Corporate Communications Manager, Maxwell K. Kotoka, in a press statement copied to diamondfmonline.com, has since deny all the claims, saying, “customers have not been left on their own since the installation of the meters as the Tamale West Zonal Office has remained open to address all meter-related concerns of customers”.
He further stated that, “it is not true that customers have been subjected to “deductions that have no basis” under the guise of service charge; neither is it true that customers are made to pay service charge each time they buy power irrespective of the number of times this happens in a month”.
“The reality is that the new tariffs approved by the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) effective February, 2023 limit the lifeline bracket to 30 units and also, make the lifeline category exclusive; this means that the tariffs and levies applicable in that bracket are generally less than what applies outside it but the tariffs applicable in the lifeline bracket are not available to a customer who goes beyond the 30-unit bracket. Meanwhile, our billing systems presume every SPPM customer at the beginning of the month to be a lifeline customer until his/her consumption proves him otherwise”, he explained.
Mr. Maxwell K. Kotoka, while denying the claims also indicated that, “We concede that there may be special or peculiar cases so we are setting up a special dedicated complaints desk within Nyohini and its environs next week so that those cases can be addressed. This initiative will be replicated in other areas in the following weeks”, he said.