The Accra West Region of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) is embarking on an exercise to replace fake meters in the town of Adeiso and surrounding areas in the Eastern Region.
The campaign, which is in collaboration with the Ghana Police Service and other security agencies, follows a pilot programme undertaken in the same town and its environs in November last year.
According to the company, the purpose of the operation was to identify and arrest the criminals behind the distribution of the fake meters, and to stop the loss of revenue to the state.
Therefore, it said the exercise, which began last Tuesday, would not end until the last fake meter was removed and replaced with a genuine electricity meter, issued by the ECG.
At the time of filing this report, the Accra West Regional Revenue Protection Manager, Dr Mark Owusu-Ansah, who led the operation, disclosed that the task force had removed over 400 of such meters since the operation began.
Dr Owusu-Ansah noted that the meters were causing serious financial losses to the state because the fake meters were allowing people to use electricity without paying a dime to the company.
He explained that collectively, the 400 fake meters had used over 1.2,gigawatts of electricity which in monetary terms was costing the state about GHc1million.
“With the 400 we have removed in just three days or so, the losses alone is about 1.2 gigawatts, which when you covert into cash is like GHc1 million.
So imagine the harm they are causing if we should recover a 1,000 of them,” he said.
To mitigate this, Dr Owusu-Ansah said the ECG, after replacing the fake meters with genuine ones, would surcharge the users to pay a year’s worth of electricity to help defray some of the company’s costs.
“Fortunately, ECG being a good services company, we will replace the meters and recover for only one year although the fake meters have been with some people for more than two to three years”, he said.
“But to whomever is being given the new meter, we have the identity attached so when we come back and see that the genuine meter has been removed, we will be harsh”, he added.
The Regional Revenue Protection Manager, therefore, advised both the sellers and the townsfolk to disengage from the buying, selling and usage of fake metres, adding that besides financial losses, they could cause fire outbreaks due to their engineering.
He stated that the company was working with many security agencies including the police and the Bureau of National Intelligence to discover and arrest the culprits who would then be made to face the full rigours of the law.
He equally charged them to help the police with the investigations by reporting anyone who tried to sell them any meter in exchange for a reward because “only ECG is mandated by law to issue meters.”