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Utility tariff hike: Using generators may become cheaper option – Ben Boakye

The Executive Director of the Africa Center for Energy Policy (ACEP), Dr. Ben Boakye says regular tariff hikes in Ghana may compel many to rely on generators since it may be cheaper than relying on the national grid.

According to him, this is an impending challenge that needs to be considered in the debate on whether utility tariffs should be increased on not.

Speaking on The Point of View on Citi TV, Mr. Boakye said increasing the tariffs Ghanaians pay to access electricity and water is not the ultimate solution to the challenges utility companies face.

“The more tariffs we pile up, the more competitive the grid becomes… Before the oil prices went up, generating your own electricity was cheaper than hooking onto the grid. We are now at the point where we are almost at par. So if you increase it [tariffs] and it becomes much more beneficial to turn on your generator, those who have generators will use it and the grid will become redundant and that also comes with its own cost,” he said.

He suggested that utility companies, particularly those within the electricity distribution chain, should concentrate on fixing challenges within their distribution system rather than chasing after tariff adjustment which will amount to nothing if the systemic problems are not fixed.

“Some balancing act needs to be done but most importantly, fixing ECG and the distribution problem is what is critical at this point because if power is sold, and you are not able to recover the money, you cannot pay GRIDCo, you cannot pay ECG for the system to function,” he added.

Ben Boakye suggested that the financial issue can be addressed by getting an investor to help improve the operations of the power company.

Don’t increase tariffs – CUTS International

Meanwhile, Appiah Adomako, the Director of CUTS International, an organization working in the area of consumer protection, has kicked against the proposal for tariff increment.

He said the utility companies making such demands should be instructed by the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) to fix the financial loopholes in their systems before their proposal is considered.

“I still think that the regulator, the PURC, should allow these utility companies to go back and fix all the things that can be fixed at their end, collect all revenues that are outstanding before allowing them any increase in tariffs.”

He said the demand for an increment in tariffs must be thoroughly scrutinized by the PURC and must be granted based on sound reason.

Source: citinewsroom

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Universities senior staff serve notice to strike again on May 18

Senior staff of the various universities in Ghana have served notice that they will resume their strike action following the failure of the government to meet their demands as instructed by the National Labour Commission (NLC).

A letter to that effect said the government has failed to address their concerns regarding nonpayment of their Tier2 Pension arrears, Market Premium and non-basic allowance and also the failure by the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission to finalize negotiations on their conditions of service.

The letter written by National Chairman, Zakaria Mohammed said “I write on behalf of the National Executive Council of Senior Staff Association-Universalities of Ghana, to covey to you our intention to resume industrial strike on 18th May 2021.

“This has become so compelling as a result of government’s decision to flout the NLC 31st March 2021 deadline directives to have the following concerns addressed as raised previously in our 21st January, 2021 Industrial strike.

“Nonpayment of our Tier2 Pension arrears (2010-2016), Market Premium and non-basic allowance, Failure by the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission to finalize negotiations on our Conditions of Service.

“I wish to assert that all efforts made by the National Executive Council (NEC) of the Association engage with the relevant stakeholders to address our concerns have not yielded any fruit.”

Source: By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

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We’ll increase transport fares by 40% on Monday – Concerned Drivers Association

Hohoe Transport Operators welcome directive to load to capacity | News Ghana

A group known as the Concerned Drivers Association has indicated that it will increase transport fares by 40 percent, effective Monday, May 10, 2021.

According to them, their resolve to increase the fares holds, despite the government’s announcement of a reduction in the price of fuel by eight pesewas per litre.

The National Petroleum Authority (NPA), after a meeting with stakeholders on Tuesday reduced the 17-pesewa margin on the prices of petroleum products to nine pesewas.

But the Spokesperson for the Concerned Drivers Association, David Agboado, says fares will still go up.

He indicated that they considered various factors, including the anticipation of a general increase in the cost of fuel in the coming weeks on the world market.

“The OMCs have their own margin that they will bring out later because we know that the world market will be shooting up from today to the 15th. The first window will come out and when it does, it will be more than that 27 cedis so based on that, we’ll stick with the 40% we want to take. It will take effect on Monday,” he said.

Meanwhile, the leadership of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) says it will take a final decision on the percentage increase for transport fares after a meeting with the sector ministry. The General Secretary of GPRTU, Godfred Abulbira Adogma, had earlier told Citi News that the fare increment will be between 15% and 20%.

He indicated that the Union had already planned to increase its fares following the approval of the 2021 budget but had to hold on due to the coming into force of new fuel price tariffs on May 1, 2021 to enable them to factor it into their new transport fares.

“Our arguments does not depend on only fuel prices alone, before the budget was laid before parliament we were even agitating for lorry fare adjustments and we were waiting for the budget to be approved before we looked at the components inside the budget that affects the running costs of the vehicle,” he said.

Many passengers anticipated that transport fares in the country will increase immediately after the government’s new tariffs, including a 30-pesewa spike in petroleum products, kick in on Saturday, May 1, 2021.

An increase in transport fares is most likely to also affect the general cost of goods and services in the country.

Source:citinewsroom

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How your retirement will look like depends on the plans you make for it – Kwabena Boamah

How your retirement will look like depends on the plans you make for it – Kwabena Boamah

The Chief Investment Officer of Stanbic Investment Management Services (SIMS), Kwabena Boamah, has encouraged workers in both the formal and informal sectors to take steps to plan towards their retirement as that will determine how they live after retirement.

Speaking at a webinar series on pensions, Kwabena Boamah said when people retire, their incomes retire but their expenses do not and that is the critical reason why they have to plan.

According to Kwabena Boamah, “it is important that before you retire, you ask yourself some critical questions in order for an effective retirement plan.

“You need to ask yourself how you want to live after you retire and also assess the kinds of expenses you envisage to make in your retirement such as medical bills, utilities, school fees, etc.

“After this has been done, the next thing to do is to budget and determine how much you will need to offset or meet your expenses after retirement. After budgeting comes investment. This is where you decide how much to invest and where to invest in order to generate enough for your expenses post retirement.”

Kwabena Boamah further encouraged people to work hard and always seek advice from professionals when planning for their retirement to avoid making mistakes.

“Hard work enables us to plan better towards retirement so I encourage the youth, especially, to work hard so they can invest for their retirement. But beyond that, it is also very important to always get the right advice from professionals in planning your retirement. Without that, you may make mistakes that can derail your retirement plans,” Mr. Boamah said.

The Head of Sales and Client Service at SIMS, Miriam Maku Amissah, who was also a panel member at the webinar, encouraged workers to plan for the retirement regardless of how much they earn.

She further reiterated the importance of getting advice from professionals in planning for retirement.

“Prepare your mind for retirement as a worker and plan for it. It doesn’t matter how much you earn. You can always plan towards your retirement,” Miriam Amissah said.

The webinar also had Dr. Abdulai Alhassan, a retiree who shared his experiences on preparing for retirement and retirement itself.

The SIMS Webinar Series brings together experts from the pensions and investment ecosystem to engage the public on how to invest and prepare effectively for retirement.

The April edition was held under the theme ‘When the nest becomes empty – A conversation on pensions planning and retirement’.

SIMS is Ghana’s foremost investment management and advisory firm offering tailor-made fund management services for pension schemes, institutions, corporates, and associations to meet specific investment objectives and return benchmarks.

SIMS’ institutional and individual fund management proposition includes assistance in setting up the fund, investment policy statement design, templates for trust deeds, and fund rules.

Source:3news

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