The Lower Manya Krobo Municipal Assembly (LMKMA) has resorted to legal action against the Krobo District branch of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).
The assembly has sued the company at the Odumase Krobo Circuit Court for non-payment of its business operational fee and property rate amounting to GH¢2,297.00.
According to the Municipal Coordinating Director of the assembly, Mr Peter Nimo, contrary to the Local Government Act 462 (1993) Part VIII/section 101 and section 2 of Local Government Act 462 (1992), the ECG had to pay business operational fee and property rates to the assembly but the ECG had defaulted and all efforts to get the company to do so had not yielded any result.
The company was consequently summoned to appear before the Odumase Krobo Circuit on November 7, 2013.
When the Daily Graphic contacted the Krobo District Manager of ECG, Mr Prosper Djuadey Avadetsi, at Somanya, he confirmed that he had seen a summons notice signed by the judge of the court, Mr Asmah Akwasi Asiedu, but he quickly added “ECG stands very firm on the issue as management at the headquarters has taken it up”.
Explaining issues further, Mr Avadetsi said sometime ago, the government was paying electricity bills for institutions under the government. However, it got to a time that the government stopped payments for some institutions except the Ghana Police Service, Prisons Service, tertiary institutions and a few others.
He said per that arrangement, the district, municipal and metropolitan assemblies were to pay their own electricity bills.
According to the Krobo District Manager, the Lower Manya Krobo Municipal Assembly had not been paying their bills for some years now. He said despite persistent requests for them to settle their bills, the assembly could not do that. He said he was, therefore, compelled to disconnect the assembly.
He added that at the time of the disconnection, the main assembly was owing GH¢7,799.00; the municipal chief executive’s residence GH¢5,000.00; while other departments under the assembly such as Town and Country Planning, National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), Environmental Health, Social Welfare Department, Information Services Department, Rural Enterprise and Public Works Department’s debt also amounted to GH¢2,416.19. The assembly, therefore, owed the company a total amount of GH¢15,215.19.
Mr Avadetsi also said the serious aspect of the issue was that the assembly was involved in an illegal power connection that cheated the company.
He explained that due to the way the assembly was treating the company, during the recent Ngmayem Festival, his outfit disconnected power to the main assembly and residence of the MCE. He said it was in the process of the disconnection that the company discovered that the assembly had disconnected the Odumase Krobo Circuit Court from its main meter and illegally connected the court for some years now.
He said after the disconnection, the assembly paid only GH¢6,000.00 for the main office but nothing had been paid for the MCE’s residence and other institutions under the assembly.
The Krobo District Manager added that the company wouldn’t have connected the residence of the MCE, but it was done after persistent pleas that the assembly was going to host the government officials at the residence during the Ngmayem Festival.
He said for that reason and for cordial relationship to exist between ECG and the assembly, and the fact that both the assembly and the ECG were social partners, his outfit connected it for smooth celebration of the festival with the promise that ECG would be given a cheque to that effect but nothing has been paid, even some weeks after the festival.
“The assembly only threw dust into the company’s eye that the cheque would be ready after the festival, but after enjoying the electricity, that ended it; we have not had any cheque till now”, Mr Avadetsi added.
Mr Avadetsi said on September 16, 2013, the Lower Krobo Municipal Assembly wrote a letter to the Managing Director of ECG through the Krobo District Manager with the headline “OF-SETTING OF ACCOUNTS”, which he forwarded to the appropriate quarters and was advised that he had no mandate to offset the accounts.
He said a week later, after the festival and after the assembly had not fulfilled it’s promise to pay the company, his outfit was forced again to disconnect the residence of the MCE. He said it was just after the disconnection that the assembly was peeved and took the legal action which, to the ECG management, was nothing to worry about.
When the Daily Graphic visited the court on November 7, the judge had adjourned the case till November 29, 2013 for hearing.