Tourism Minister defends utility tariff hike; says it’s needed to stabilize economy


Tourism Minister defends utility tariff hike; says it’s needed to stabilize economy

The Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr Ibrahim Awal, has attributed the recent increase in utility tariffs in the hospitality industry to government efforts to stabilize the economy.

The sector minister explained that the water and electricity tariff increment within the hospitality industry has not been made for the past four years, hence the move to make the upward adjustment.

Dr Awal’s comments come after the Ghana Hotels Association and the Ghana Progressive Hotels Association petitioned the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) following a 167% increase in water and electricity tariffs in February this year.

“For four years, we did not increase tariffs. It is only now that we are facing some economic challenges and working to restore macroeconomic stability. Once we do that, it will be better than ‘dumsor’. Let’s not forget what happened before we came to power. Before 2017, we know what happened. We don’t want to go back to dumsor. Dumsor is devastating. Bear with us, we know that slowly we will stabilize the economy and this tariff adjustment will abate,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Tourism Authority, Akwasi Agyeman, says a meeting will be held with the hoteliers to address their concerns.

“We had even requested for a meeting with PURC on this, and we are going to follow through. I am happy that at least they also added their voice to our concerns. We sympathize with them. Obviously, if hotels can operate more effectively and efficiently, some of these tariffs have to be looked at. But we are also mindful of the fact that they say an expensive electricity is better than no electricity. So let’s see how we work together to resolve it,” he said.

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