Some residents of Kpongunor in Lower Manya Krobo Municipality of the Eastern Region on Thursday staged a demonstration against the installation of prepaid meters and the deployment of armed military personnel to the area as part of the exercise.
The protestors mostly the youth clad in red armbands and traditional war apparels, chanted war songs to express their displeasure.
Their concerns follow the deployment of 50 military personnel to the Krobo area to provide security for the staff of the Electricity Company of Ghana, ECG, as they replace all postpaid meters with prepaid meters on June 14, 2022.
The soldiers are being assisted by National Security operatives and the Police.
Public Relations Officer for ECG, Tema Region, Sakyiwaa Mensah, in an earlier statement said the military was providing technical support since they were undergoing a refresher training course at ECG training school.
Customers who still insist on rejecting prepaid meters are taken off the national grid.
Residents in the Krobo area are unhappy with the development hence the demonstration.
Meanwhile, speaking to the media in Koforidua on Monday, June 13, 2022, on the sidelines of a familiarization visit by the management of ECG led by the new Managing Director (ECG), Samuel Dubik Masubir Mahama, Director of Customer Service, Anokye Abebreseh said, intensive engagements have been done with all stakeholders in the Krobo area hence expecting maximum cooperation.
According to him, “Just last week we met a tripartite kind of a committee comprising of ECG, National Security and United Krobo Foundation. We met and the agreement is that ECG is going to install prepaid meters starting from tomorrow which all of us have agreed”.
“So come tomorrow (Tuesday) we are going to deploy our men to the field to start the installation of prepayment meters. We have done a lot of stakeholders’ engagements so at least for now calm is prevailing so come tomorrow 14th of June we are going to start deployment of prepayment meters,” said Anokye Abebreseh.
The installation of prepaid meters comes after years of an impasse between Krobo residents and ECG which escalated into devastating attacks on the ECG office in Somanya and led to a deadly clash with police. The ECG office has since been shut down.
Residents vowed to resist the installation of prepaid meters while calling on ECG to write off debts owned by customers in Krobo land from 2018 to 2021.
Answering questions on the controversy of non-payment of electricity bills by residents, Mr. Anokye Abebreseh stressed that ECG has ring-fenced all arrears of customers in the Krobo area from the period between 2014 and 2017.
But arrears between 2018 to date must be paid by customers within 5 years. However, the debt will not be transferred onto the prepaid meters to be installed.
ECG is therefore on a serious drive to reduce commercial losses in the system.
Source: Daily Guide Network