GHANA – The Government of Ghana has announced a further three-month suspension on payment of all water and electricity for all its citizens in a bid to help Ghanians cope with the economic and health challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ghana’s Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta announced the good news to the country’s citizens during his Mid-year Budget review.
Ofori-Atta in his speech noted that the decision to suspend payments was informed by the fact that the government puts the concerns and aspirations of the ordinary Ghanaian first.
“That is also why we further reduced electricity prices by half and completely provided potable water for free for everybody since March this year. And we will extend it for another three months,” Ofori-Atta told parliament.
Ofori- Atta explained that the government is going to spend about ¢1.02 billion (US$176.54 million) in the next three months to subsidize electricity consumption by 50 per cent to 4,086,286 households and 686,522 businesses.
The funds will also be used to extend the coverage for lifeline customers for another three months, according to the Minister for Finance.
According to Ofori-Atta, the free water initiative would be for all water consumers while the electricity supply would be limited to only lifeline consumers.
“It takes a caring government of the people to offer cost-free water to all across the country: representing all domestic and commercial customers in Ghana for three months,” Mr. Ofori-Atta noted.
In April this year, the Ghana’s President, H.E Nana Akufo-Addo, announced three months of free electricity for consumers of a particular category, to make up for lost income following a lockdown in Accra and Kumasi due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Ghanaian President also announced government’s decision to absorb water bills for all Ghanaians for April, May and June following complaints of lack of portable drinking water in many communities affected by the lockdown.