Legal counsel to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Kow Essuman, suggested via a tweet on August 23, 2023, that the erstwhile John Dramani Mahama government in 2016 increased electricity tariffs during the power rationing crisis known as ‘dumsor.’
Essuman was echoing comments made by Presidential Staffer Dennis Miracles Aboagye who accused the Mahama administration generally of increasing electricity tariffs in the midst of dumsor.
Miracles made the claim on the August 23, 2023 episode of TV3’s ‘New Day’ show while discussing recent tariff increments with the Deputy Communications Officer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Malik Basintale.
Relevant portions of his claims are as follows:
“The good news about the current situation is that while we are having an increase, we have the power and the water flowing. During their period after all the rants, after all his expertise and energy, after all the emotions, when they were in government, while we did not have the power, they were still increasing tariffs.
” …you were increasing it in the midst of the chaos…NDC should just shut up and let us enjoy our electricity, and let us work with the utility services company, hold them to account, and get them to be more efficient.”
“How dare you? You were increasing tariffs for us when we didn’t have power. Today, in 2016 by this time, when we leave this studio and we step out, we are going to call our home to ask if the light is gone off, and then if today is Wednesday, the next time you expect electricity is Friday morning and then it will go off Saturday evening.”
His views were reechoed by Essuman who quoted the video of Miracles’ submission and suggested in his caption that the Mahama government increased taxes in 2016.
He wrote: “Please do you know this guy? Na my brother be that oh @DennisMiracles pa pa paaaa. In 2016, when there was dumsor aka no power, NDC was increasing tariffs. Ei John Mahama and NDC – #NeverAgain.”
According to GhanaWeb’s checks from the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) data, there was no tariff increment in 2016.
In a data set titled, “Table 3: Direction of Tariff Changes between 2010 and 2020,” in a document titled “A STUDY ON THE TRENDS IN ELECTRICITY TARIFFS IN GHANA BETWEEN 2010 AND 2020,” there were a total of six increments whiles Mahama was in charge.
There was one in 2013, three in 2014 and two in 2015, there was NO INCREMENT in 2016 supposedly at the height of dumsor.
Mahama solved dumsor before leaving office
A number of ruling party members have admitted that despite dumsor being a blot on the record of the Mahama government, he solved it with an increase in the generating capacity.
The critique that follows, however, is that the power barges that the then government contracted and the associated “take or pay” policy had cost the nation lots of money even till date.
Verdict: From the above, it is untrue that the Mahama government increased electricity tariffs in its final year in office (2016.)
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