PURC inaugurates Wa Consumer Services Committee to oversee regulated utilities

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Wa, Nov. 7, GNA – The Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC) has established a five-member Consumer Services Committee (CSC) to serve as a “watchdog” over regulated utilities covering electricity and water for improved quality services to clients in the Wa Municipality.

Membership of the committee includes Hajia Adia Mumuni (Chairperson), retired educationist; David Witol, teacher; Ernest Salia Tungbani, photographer; Issahaku Salifu Baduong, teacher and Jakalia Jonas Mwinbasaana, a retired staff of Ghana Water Company.

Alhaji Abdulai Abubakri, the Upper West Regional Coordinating Council Director on Tuesday inaugurated the Committee charged with several responsibilities including receiving and transmitting formal consumer complaints about water and electricity services to the PURC.

They are also to advise the Commission on matters relating to utility services, monitor the performance of utilities and educate customers of their right and responsibilities and on matters concerning conservation of utility services among others.

Mrs Mami Dufie Ofori, the Executive Secretary of PURC, said formation of the Committee was in accordance with the Commission’s act, 1997 (Act 538) that mandates it to establish CSC in districts and geographical areas as the PURC deemed it fit.

By virtue of the Act, she said, the Commission was to ensure the provision of quality electricity and water services to consumers as well as introduce strategies to improve utility access and quality services.

“It is in fulfilment of our mandate requiring the commission to establish consumer services committees that has resulted the creation of the Wa Consumer Services Committee,” she said: “The CSC serve as a watchdog with respect of the regulated utilities”.

“Membership of the committee is voluntary and they represent the interest of the commission in areas where the commission does not have offices”.

Mrs Ofori said the objectives of the Committee was in the interest of everybody and appealed to local government authorities to provide the necessary support to the committee to guarantee its successful operations, saying: “We as a Commission a limited in resources and do need support from all and sundry”.

She also urged the committee members to be fully committed to their responsibilities with the aim of ensuring that Ghana moved forward in its bid to become a developed country.
She said the Commission planned to improve its systems particularly that of quality service monitoring, enforcement of regulations, complaints handling, public education and tariff setting, which added, “we have already discharged diligently to the admiration of all”.

The Commission, she said, has acquired WhatsApp lines for its offices to aid social media communication, and was also in the process of securing toll free lines to ensure easy access to it services.

The Wa CSC is the second committee to be set up in the country after the first one was formed in Sekondi in 2008 and launched in 2011.

“The operations of the Sekondi CSC has been very successful and the impact of the committee has been very positive,” Mrs Ofori said.

The Commission is set to inaugurate the Obuasi CSC in the Ashanti region in the course of the month.

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