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Residents in Tamale to hit streets over VRA new prepaid meters consumption rate


Some residents in the Tamale metropolis are protesting against the installation of the new prepaid meters that have been introduced by the Volta River Authority to replace the existing post paid meters.
The residents say the consumption rate of the new meters are outrageous and incredible under current economic conditions and want immediate removal of the new installed ones or face their wrath.
The angry residents who demonstrated on the premises of Zaa Radio say VRA cannot use the poor consumers to recoup their huge debts and challenged VRA to rather examine the revealing piece of an ace investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas,which exposes their rot at the various agencies, departments and bigger companies in the country.
The residents are also calling on the public Utility Regulatory Commission to, as a matter of urgency, persuade VRA to halt the replacement process and resort to dialogue.
Mr Alhassan Mohammed Hafiz who is the Public Relations Officer of the Progressive Citizens of Tamale, a group leading the crusade against the installation of the new prepaid meters, says customers in the region cannot withstand the negative impact the new meters imposes on them.
He explained that 20 Ghana cedis worth of electricity credit could only be used for four days and 10 Ghana cedis worth of credit lasted only two days when used.
Mr Alhassan Ababa stressed  that the lives of ordinary consumers and few small scale businesses that depend on electricity to survive such as welders, corn millers, tailors and hairdressers to mention a few are heavily affected by the change.
The group has therefore given an indication that they would hit the streets in the metropolis by Tuesday, 12 September 2012 to express their displeasure, if VRA fails to halt and remove already installed ones.
When contacted, the Assistant Public Relations Officer of the VRA in the northern region, Alhassan Ababa told Zaa News that the exercise is nationwide and urged residents to exercise restraint.  
Mr. Ababa said VRA is prepared to engage in dialogue with individual customers who are not comfortable with the meters, adding that every new thing has its challenges.
He said VRA has no intension and would not put unnecessary burden on its customers who he said they cherish in high esteem under the pretext of recouping its lost revenue.
He however dispels the notion that the new meters consume more power than the one as being speculated by some sections of the public.

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