The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has said the inability of consumers in parts of Accra to recharge their prepaid cards on December 3, was due to vending system failure.
The system breakdown, which has since been fixed, affected over 30,000 power consumers within the Kaneshie, Korle-Bu, Dansoman and Achimota districts, who massed up at various vending points to vent their frustration.
Addressing a press conference in Accra to explain the incident, Managing Director of the ECG, Ing. Samuel Boakye-Appiah, said the failure of the system caused the prepaid cards to malfunction.
To rectify the situation, he said, customers were asked to deposit their cards at the various ECG offices within their respective districts. Unfortunately, the submission of the cards led to chaotic scenes as police struggled to control the huge numbers of frustrated people.
The company, he said, has since put in place a contingency plan that has seen it establish 40 help desks that are attending to the needs of customers and working on restoring the cards to usefulness.
He stated that those affected by the failure of the vending system are those who purchased their credit after November 14, 2017, adding that such customers should go deposit their cards at their District ECG offices where they would be required to leave their contact to facilitate the process.
Mr. Boakye-Appiah apologised to consumers, saying the event of December 3, 2017 was unfortunate, although he ruled out sabotage.
He indicated that customers whose cards were reactivated had been successful in recharging their cards and purchasing power.
As part of plans to prevent future occurrence of problems of such nature, a smart metering system has been introduced and is currently being piloted in selected districts, he revealed.
“The company intends to ensure that its prepayment metering systems will be smart, devoid of customers visiting points, but instead utilising a mobile app to purchase credit online,” Mr. Boakye-Appiah said.
The smart metering system, he explained, will provide convenience for ECG’s customers as well as complement the existing systems.
The new system being piloted, he said, has proved to be robust and should be rolled out for consumers in the coming weeks.