Artisans in Kumasi bemoan utility tariffs hike


Artisans in the Ashanti Regional capital, Kumasi have kicked against increased utility tariffs by the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC), saying the upward adjustments will further aggravate difficulties they are already in.

According to leadership of the artisans, the increment in tariffs – which takes effect next month – will add to the existing challenging business climate, and may eventually lead to collapse of businesses now on life support in the region.

President for the Consecutive Hairdressers Association of Ghana, Abigail Quansah, in an interview with the B&FT expressed worry at the extent of hardship the new tariff is going to bring; hence appealing for government to reconsider the decision.

“For us hairdressers, we use both light and water. We will use this opportunity to beg government. We are already facing hardship, and we know government is trying its best because of the free education. Sometime back, there was an issue of electricity increment; we pleaded and our plea was heard.  In line with that, we continue to beg government and urge it to reduce the prices of items for us… because this will make our work very difficult. Already, we make little profit on our services.

“We urge the president to help us or we might have to close down our shops. PURC should hold off the increment for now, because things are already difficult in the country. This increment will really affect our work and our families at large,” Ms. Quansah noted.

For the Ghana National Tailors Association (GNTA), they say they are not against the tariff increment per se, but want electricity increased by at most 15 percent.

The Ashanti Regional Chairman for the GNTA, Eric Boakye Yiadom, told the B&FT their work is currently facing several threats due to low patronage.

He further pleaded with government to reconsider the decision and reduce the increment from 27 to 15 percent.

“Government should reduce the proposed tariffs, because we know that things are very hard in the current economy. People do not even come to collect their work from us when it is done. If the tariff is also going to add on, then the hardship will be too much.

“We are begging; we know they have to increase it, but they should check the percentage for us. For the electricity tariffs, if they can peg it at 15 percent we would be much appreciative. We know they need money for maintenance and to improve on the quality of their work, so we cannot ask them not to increase it,” he said.

From September 1, 2022, households and businesses will face a steep increase in their electricity and water tariffs – of 27.15 percent nd 21.55 percent respectively – the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) has said, adding that tariffs will now see adjustments every quarter.

The increment, the Commission said, was necessitated by an unfavourable exchange rate, rising cost of gas for electricity generation and chemicals for water treatment, among others.

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