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EDSA Blames Bad Weather

19,Jul 2018
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By Prince C. Kamara

For the past few days, there have been long queues of anxious consumers outside the Electricity House along Siaka Stevens to buy top up to recharge their meters.

The fact that consumers have to queue under torrential rain makes the matter worse. The questions therefore on the lips of many consumers that spoke with this press are: Is the vendor system and mobile money to buy top up no longer adequate or reliable?  What is the Minister of Energy doing to make it easier for people to recharge their meters and for government to rapidly accrue revenue in the process to pay power producers and offset accumulated debt in the power sector?

It could be recalled that President Bio’s government only last week ratified an international loan to the tune of 39 million US dollars as further support to the energy sector. This is in addition to the estimated 500 million dollars believed to have been invested in the electricity sector, since 2007.

According to a number of consumers, they feel that unless the new Minister of Energy, Alhaji Kanja Ibrahim Sesay introduces radical reform in the recharging of meters, given the regularity of system failures that have closed almost all points of sale in the city and outlying areas, the current state will be with us for some time.

Speaking to AYV on the issue yesterday at his EDSA office, the Deputy PRO, Andrew Lahai stated that even though the situation is unfortunate, the EDSA is doing its best to normalize the situation.

He blamed the weather for what he described as “system failure” which has rendered computers unable to make recharge transactions causing undue delay. He went on to say that that by next year, the ministry would have ensured that such a problem does not recur.

He lamented however that the current system failure is bad for EDSA as the company is losing money and consumer confidence but that this condition is not permanent as everything humanly possible is being done to reboot the system and bring everything back to normal.

Some consumers that spoke with AYV floated the idea that the Minister of Energy should by now have spearheaded the use of Scratch Cards to recharge meters; not expensive cards; but cards with just enough security features on special papers would be enough to make it easier for wholesalers to buy in bulk and retail to outlets so that consumers can just get on with paying bills with no hassle. But several efforts to get the side of the Minister of Energy, Alhaji Kanja Sesay were futile and as we went to press reports of fighting erupted at the scene. Investigations continue.

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