Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko has assured Ghanaians they will witness a reduction in their electricity tariffs in 2018. He told journalists at a news conference in Accra Wednesday, the changes would be announced during the reading of next year’s budget in Parliament.
He explained, their intention when they took over government was to address issues with power supply before tackling the cost. Heaving a sigh of relief that power supply has been stabilized across the country, Mr Agyarko said government is now ready to reduce electricity prices. Energy Ministry Boakye Agyarko “Our next mandate is to reduce the prices which take several forms,” he said.
Ghanaians had been expectant their electricity tariffs would be reduced when Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta presented the 2017 budget but that was not to be.
The high expectations for a reduction came from promises by the then candidate Nana Akufo-Addo during the heat of the 2016 election campaign. Five months into government, the NPP government abolished the excise duty on petroleum and a reduction of special petroleum tax rate from 17.5 percent to 15 percent but that has yet to affect the prices of electricity. Critics who have not seen a reduction in prices of electricity have taken on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, describing his promise as a “vote-buying” gimmick.
Ghana’s electricity tariff for commercial users is $0.32 per kilowatt hour while domestic users pay $19.28 cents for the same consumption. But neighbouring Ivory Coast charges $0.13 cents for commercial users per kilowatt hour and $9 cents per kilowatt hour domestic users.
Mr Agyarko explained the price disparity is due to the fact that the Francophone country produces cheaper power than Ghana. “So we have to find a way to reducing the cost of production,” he said, hinting at the readiness of government to drive price reduction in tariffs by next year.