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AFRICA: Ghana offers citizens free electricity for three months to cushion Covid-19 effect

GHANIAN government has offered free electricity units to lifeline customers for three months.

Lifeline customers are known as ones who consume less electricity compared to some consumers who use multiple phases.

Managing director of the Electricity Company of Ghana Limited, Kwame Agyeman-Budu, announced the free electricity offer in a statement on Tuesday.

According to Agyeman-Budu the gesture is part of the government’s  effort to cushion the  crushing effects of Covid-19 on households, he described it as  government’s “extended COVID-19 electricity relief.”

Agyeman-Budu disclosed that the initiative will absorb 100 percent electricity bills of the affected customers from January to March 2021.

He said, “Following the President of Ghana’s directive on the extension of COVID-19 electricity relief for Ghanaians, the Government of Ghana (GG) will continue to absorb 100% electricity bills for lifeline residential customers (those who consume between 0-50kWh) for the stated period of three (3) months (January – March 2021),”

He added that “Lifeline customers on both prepaid and postpaid metering systems will continue to benefit from the GoG relief as stated.

“Lifeline prepaid customers: Customers on smart prepaid meters will be automatically credited with their free lifeline units for January, February and March.

“Customers on non-smart prepaid meters will have to swipe or insert their cards in their meters before they visit the vending points to recharge, in order to receive their free units for each month.

“Lifeline Postpaid Customers: With regards to postpaid lifeline customers, their bills for January, February and March 2021 will indicate the GoG absorption of their lifeline consumption.

“Management wishes to assure lifeline customers and stakeholders that it is resolved to implement this directive to the letter. Customers are advised to contact ECG District offices with any challenge for a resolution.”

This is coming almost nine months after the Ghanaian government announced a similar relief package in April to its citizens following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The package ran for several months.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, news broke that the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) had approved an increase in electricity tariff across the country, effective January 1, 2021.

Though the commission had debunked the report claiming the increase would not affect every consumer of electricity in the country, many Nigerians are yet to understand the thrust of its new policy.

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