The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning designate, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta has released at least GH¢1.2 billion as part payment for COVID-19 relief covering the free electricity and water to Ghanaians since the outbreak of the pandemic.
To keep the lights on during the COVID-19 era till now, ECG has at least received over GH¢1billion as part payment for the free power it supplied to the good people of Ghana.
Payment to Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) for providing free water to the General public since the outbreak of COVID-19 is in the region of GH¢180 million.
Information sighted indicates that the total amount budgeted by Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning for the provision of free electricity and water is at least GH¢1.8 billion
Ken Ofori-Atta led MoF has made all these expenditure despite a massive drop in revenues including a significant decline of $1.6 billion in crude oil export receipts on the back of low prices.
Robust reforms rolled out at GRA under Ken’s watch is deemed to have helped GRA collected GH₵45,338.69 million indicating that it only missed its before COVID-19 target by over GH₵1.9 billion (GH¢1,915.26 million) despite the ranging effects of COVID-19 on all sectors of the economy.
It is amazing how Ken as protector of the public purse kept being resourceful to keep government machinery running, paid teachers who never worked for at least 9months and still managed to grow the economy by at least 0.9% in the midst of the pandemic.
In the 2020 Mid-Year Budget to Parliament, Finance Minister designate Ken Ofori-Atta announced extension of free water and electricity supplies to consumers. He reminded us at the time that “It takes a caring government of the people, and with that, I mean, a Government of all the people, to offer cost-free water to all across the country.
Ken again averted our minds to the fact that it takes a caring government to be for the people and for business, large and small.
Free water and electricity that was extended to December 2020 was again extended for lifeline consumers from Jan-March 2021 before Ken exited office in Jan. 7th 2021.
He hinted in his last budget statement to parliament that lifeline electricity consumers and households whose water usage do not exceed five cubic metres per month will not pay for the utilities for the months of January, February and March, 2021.
These well thought out reliefs to Ghanaians to better wither the storms of COVID-19, Ken reminded the good people of Ghana that they will be reviewed at the end of March, 2021.