The Ghanaian government has extended free electricity to poor citizens till January 2021 due to the economic hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, made the announcement on Thursday, adding that all citizens irrespective of social status would enjoy free water supply for the next three months.
The period for free water, which ended in May 2020, would be extended for additional three months while electricity would last for the next six months.
While the free electricity would be enjoyed by lifeline consumers that consume less than 50kWh per month, water would be given to all citizens for free for the next three months.
President Nana Addo Akufo-Addo, in a compassionate move during the lockdown, announced three months of free electricity for lifeline consumers and 50 per cent rebate for consumers who went beyond the lifeline threshold.
Additionally, water bills for all Ghanaians for April, May and June were taken up by the government, following complaints of lack of potable water in communities affected by the lockdown.
The minister announced the extension of the packages in the mid-year budget review, presented on the authority of the President to the nation through Parliament, in Accra.
He assured Ghanaians that government would continue to put their aspirations first.
“That is also why we further reduced electricity prices by half and completely provided potable water for free for everybody since March this year, and we will extend it for another three months,” Mr Ofori-Atta said.
“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: representing all domestic and commercial customers in Ghana for three months.
“It takes a caring government to be for the people and for business, large and small, to choose to subsidise electricity consumption by 50 per cent to 4,086,286 households and 686,522 businesses at a cost of ¢1.02bn ($176m) in three months.
“And we will extend the coverage for lifeline customers for another three months,” he added. ,,
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