Ghana’s economic regulator for electricity and water, the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC), has resolved 6,6123 complaints out of the 7,123 it received from consumers of electricity and water in the West African nation for the first half of 2023.
Within the same mid-year, the Commission helped in getting 5,265 meters replaced for consumers, as well as the replacement of 886 electricity poles in both ECG and NEDCo operational areas.
This was disclosed by Alhaji Jabaru Abukari, Director of Regional Operations and Consumer Services (ROCS), at the Commission during a training programme for its media fellowship at Abokobi, a suburb of Accra, the capital of Ghana, last Saturday.
He took participants through the various complaint management and monitoring processes as well as the various laws that govern it.
He further explained and demonstrated how the Database Management Systems (DBMS) of PURC was used to track complaints lodged with the Commission and actions taken by designated officers.
Alhaji Abukari reiterated the point that the DBMS could also be used for checks and balances in the flow and monitoring of processes through the help desk on the DBMS.
The chairman of the Research and Stakeholder Management Committee, (RSMC) of PURC, Mr Patrick Nyarko, in his opening address, encouraged the PURC Media Fellowship members to help improve the narrative about the Commission, by educating the public on the operations, functions and policies of the Commission, which benefits the consumer and the service providers.
The Director of Water Services and Performance Monitoring (WSPM) at the PURC, Ing Emmanuel Fiati, who spoke on behalf of the Executive Secretary, Dr Ishmael Ackah, noted that the fellowship owed the Commission a duty to report accurately on PURC’s regulatory issues and policies, which he said was the main rationale behind the engagement.
He further indicated that the periodic engagement was part of the Commission’s transparency, accountability and corporate governance agenda, which could be achieved through a synergy between the PURC Media Fellowship and the Commission while taking feedback from stakeholders to ensure good communication.
Mr Gershon Mallot Vivor, Senior Manager at the Energy Services and Performance Monitoring (ESPM) at the PURC, took participants through regulatory monitoring with the service providers and how it has augmented operations of the service providers to the resolution of complex complaints caused as a result of power fluctuation and sometimes negligence on the part of both consumers and service providers.
The Head of Complaints Data at the PURC, Mr Leon Acquaye, during the training, took participants through two recent Apps which were developed by the Commission to help consumers understand and know their expected bills at the end of the month.
These two Apps located on the PURC website are the PURC energy consumption estimator and the reckoner, which could be used to ascertain customers’ consumption either in monetary terms or volumes.
Participants indicated that their expectations of the training programme were met as it enlightened and ushered them into the operations of the Commission while broadening their knowledge base on the various regulations employed by the Commission in the discharge of its duties.
Participants seized the opportunity to ask and deliberate on issues of regulation bothering them and sought appropriate answers accordingly.
The training programme was attended by the Management of the PURC, Members of the Research and Stakeholder Management Committee of the Commission, External Commissioners, staff from the ESPM, the Legal Services Directorate, and the Research and Corporate Affairs Directorate.