Business News

Ghana Parliament temporarily faces blackout over $1.8 million unpaid electricity bill  

The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), a government-operated power provider, on Thursday temporarily disconnected electricity to the parliamentary complex to compel the legislative body to settle an outstanding debt of 23 million Ghanaian cedis (approximately $1.8 million). 

Footage distributed by local news outlets captured the moment lawmakers were left in darkness within the parliamentary chamber following the power outage, leading them to collectively chant “dumsor, dumsor,” which means black-out in Twi, the local language. 

William Boateng, the communications director of ECG, informed Reuters that the decision to disconnect power was made after the legislature did not respond to notices demanding payment. 

This aggressive strategy emerges as Ghana’s power industry deals with extensive unpaid bills, causing an uptick in electricity outages amidst ongoing tensions between the government and power generation companies. 

Boateng explained that disconnecting the parliament’s power supply is a standard tactic employed by ECG to motivate customers with outstanding bills to settle their debts. 

He said,  

Meanwhile, a Ghanaian lawmaker, Edward Bawa, disclosed that a power failure led to a fellow parliamentarian and several staff members being caught in elevator lifts. 

The energy authority in Ghana stated in April 2023 that the country has an installed energy capacity of 5,454 MW, out of which 4,483 MW is operational.