The Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) says should the general public refuse to support the company’s drive to get customers to pay realistic tariffs it may have to halt operations in the future.
According to the Communications Manager, Stanley Martey, the company can no longer continue to struggle to stay afloat using the meagre revenue it generates, thus the need for higher tariffs.
He stated that the inability of the company to generate enough revenue from the low tariffs it charges has largely contributed to the inefficiencies it experiences at the moment despite several internal interventions to increase revenue generations.
Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express, he stated that the situation has also contributed to the inability of the GWCL to provide 100% coverage to the Ghanaian population.
“Even we ourselves as an institution would have wished that we had 100% access, but unfortunately we haven’t been able to. And one of the reasons is that since the inception of PURC, or since I joined Ghana Water 20 years ago, I don’t remember any time that we’ve had full cost-recovery tariffs.
“So every time you present cost of production at a certain figure you’re given less than 50 or less than 30% of what you requested for. So there’s always been a backlog, and how can we be efficient when these things are happening? Seriously, if it hadn’t been for the prudent management of the GWCL, I don’t know what it would have become by now,” he said.
Stanley Martey noted that some internal interventions had helped boost revenue generation; however, more is needed to be done, particularly in relation to the tariffs in order for the company to function optimally as it ought to.
“As I speak, there are a lot of projects that we have done with the little revenue that we generate, and that is how come we’re able to stay afloat. So for instance, we by ourselves introduced and established internal performance improvement programmes where we gave ourselves targets, we signed contracts from the Ministry through the Board, to management and it cascaded down to the lowest staff where everybody had a target that they needed to meet that target and then be rewarded, ok, and that has changed our lives as a company.
“And so for instance around 2014, 2015 we were collecting around 14-15million Ghana cedis monthly now we’re collecting close to ¢90 million. So we’re able to do a lot of things,” he said.
Meanwhile, he revealed that the last time the GWCL managed to secure an upward adjustment in tariffs was in 2018.
“But if you look at the last tariff that was given to us in 2018, I’m saying 2018 because 2018 they gave us the tariff, 2019 there was an adjustment, ECG was adjusted upwards and then we stayed where we are. So from 2018 till now, we’re still using the same tariff.
“Now look at the currency depreciation from 2018 till now, and if I have to tell you the investments we’ve done over the period you’ll marvel and then you’ll realize that we’re really working.
“So if you don’t get the support of the general public in paying realistic tariffs then it will get to a point where GWCL may go to halt. But we wouldn’t allow that to happen,” he said.