Following appointment of the new Chairman of the ECOWAS Regional Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERERA), Ing. Kocou Laurent R. TOSSOU, who assumed office on July 19, 2022, Senior Management of ERERA, on Thursday, January 12, 2023, paid a courtesy call on the Executive Secretary of the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC), Dr. Ishmael Ackah and Management of the Commission. The Chairman was accompanied by Dr. Haliru Dikko, ERERA Council Member; Uwem Thompson, Communication Officer; Musah Imam, ICT Officer and Ofosuhene Apenteng-Taryiro, Head of Administration and Finance.
The visit by the Chairman of ERERA and his team, was to acquaint himself with activities of the Commission and also to inform the Commission of current activities undertaken by ERERA, future prospects, and to strengthen the already existing relationship between the PURC and ERERA. The main objective was how to build mutual relationships in the electricity sector.
According to Ing. Kocou, ERERA, has followed and monitored activities of the Commission in the past years and is convinced of the Commission’s independence in the performance of its functions. He applauded PURC for signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), with the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), to set up a Regulatory Centre of Excellence, which would help in building capacities of electricity, natural gas and water regulatory agencies as well as utility service providers in West Africa.
In his opening remarks, the Executive Secretary of PURC, Dr. Ishmael Ackah, on behalf of the PURC expressed appreciation to Ing. Kocou and his team for the visit. He indicated that, the Commission as a multi-sectoral independent regulatory agency has been operating in Ghana for the past 25 years. He noted that, the Commission has offices in the ten (10) traditional regions of Ghana with established Consumer Service Committees in bigger regions. He also noted that the Commission is present on most Social Media platforms including Twitter, FaceBook, LinkedIn and WhatsApp platforms for Assembly members, Opinion Leaders etc.
Dr. Ackah further explained that, the Commission has instituted the Ghana Utility Performance Index (GUPI) to benchmark and monitor the performance of regulated utilities across regions in Ghana and to encourage peer learning from each other. He intimated that; the Center of Excellence is expected to be inaugurated by close of February, 2023. To further deepen transparency, accountability and ensure quality of service delivery by utility service providers to consumers, the Commission has initiated the Consumer Service Clinics to serve as a one stop shop, which will bring consumers and utility service providers together at specific times to enable the utilities receive and resolve complaints of consumers.
Dr Ackah outlined the theme for 2023 as a “Year of Operational Efficiency”. This will be done by enforcing compliance through monitoring and regulatory audits; educating stakeholders on their rights and responsibilities; building relationships with key sector stakeholders to enhance efficiency within the electricity, water, and natural gas sectors; and enhancing data management for efficiency in the operations of the Commission and the regulated Utilities.
PURC Staff present were: Director, Water Services and Performance Monitoring - Ing. Emmanuel Fiati; Director, Legal Services – Mrs. Nancy Atiemo; Director, Regional Operations - Alhaji Jabaru Abukari; Director, Energy Services and Performance monitoring - Ing. Fred Amui Oblitey; Director, Research and Corporate Affairs - Dr. Eric Obutey; Head of Corporate Affairs – Mr. Robert Aziz Tia; Deputy Head, Media Relations, Events and Protocol - Mrs. Deborah Bonney; Deputy Head, Digitalization – Mr. Prince Nana Yaw Kessie; Senior Research Officer - Mr. Stephen Ekow Bryan; and Head, Executive Secretary’s Secretariat - Ms. Maame Esi Eshun.