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PURC Intervenes in ECG Prepaid ‘Wahala’

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Over a thousand aggrieved Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) customers, yesterday, thronged the Kwame Nkrumah Circle office of the company to demand resolutions to their inability to top up their prepaid cards.

The angry customers, some of whom had reported at the office as early as 3:00am that morning, had formed long queues as each person waited for their turn to be heard.

PURC’s Intervention

In the bid to protect the interest of over 2000 customers who had been affected by the recent ECG backlash, the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) ordered the ECG to immediately expand its help desk in order to deal with the numerous complaints.

This action according to the PURC has resulted in the establishment of additional help desks at the ECG Project Office which in turn has yielded good results.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the PURC attributed the recent crises to the malfunctioning of the Build-Operate-Transfer(BOT) prepayment system which carries data of 300,000 customers in the Accra West Region.

The situation they said resulted in customers’ inability to top up their prepaid cards leading to long queues and grave inconvenience to consumers.

The Commission as part of its regulatory and enforcement process, has issued initial time-bound directives to ECG to submit details of its emergency response measures carried out.

“The directive elapsed at 4:00pm December 6, 2017. This has been followed up with a second directive to ECG requesting the company to show cause in respect of monetary penalties to be imposed with a response deadline of December 8, 2017 in accordance with due process,” the statement revealed.

Investigation continues

According to PURC, though some investigations have already been done “the Commission intends to undertake a comprehensive independent investigation into ECG’s IT infrastructure to ascertain the root cause of the system failure which will inform further regulatory actions.”

However, preliminary investigations by PURC discovered that on Sunday, December 3 2017 a server power supply failure which affected the ECG database led to inability of customers within the affected areas to purchase power.

“On Tuesday, December 6, the system was restored but could serve only customers who last purchased power prior to or by 10:00 pm on November 15.

“This means that customers who last purchased power after November 15, 2017 to date cannot purchase power in the usual manner,” the PURC investigations revealed.

Those affected were customers in Achimota, Korle-Bu, Dansoman and Kaneshie―all within the Accra West Region.

By: Grace Ablewor Sogbey/ ksogbey@gmail.com

 

 

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