Story by Mabel Adorkor Annang
The Public Utilities Regulatory (PURC), will soon establish a Centre of Excellence in Public Utilities Regulation in Africa to contribute to developing the capacity of regulatory experts and researchers in the science and art of regulation of electricity, water and gas.
This is to help deal with challenges affecting the work of regulators in Africa. At an event to celebrate its 25th anniversary, PURC said it plans to review the regulatory benchmarks for utilities to focus on efficiency.
Speaking at an event to mark the 25th Anniversary in Accra, the Executive Secretary of PURC, Dr. Ishmael Ackah, said improving the Commission’s regulatory benchmarks will enhance efficiency.
“PURC is working with GIMPA to set up a Centre of Excellence for Public Utility Regulations. What they will do is that one, capacity development not just for Ghana but across Africa. In terms of electricity regulation, water and natural gas even communications. Sharing the experiences of Ghana to others to build their capacity,” Dr. Ackah explained.
An Economist, Kwame Pianim, said the commission should make Ghanaians aware of their independence.
“One of the areas that the Commission could have addressed itself is that maybe we failed to communicate to the public that the PURC is independent, so that by now when the PURC sets the tariff, sitting governments will not be blamed for that. But the PURC can say this is what we have done. We have taken a look at the data and submissions made by the utilities companies and this is the best price that will keep them alive. That will also make sure that we continue to get good quality water and electricity,” Mr. Pianim added.
The PURC was set up as a multi-sector regulator in October 1997 under Act 538 of 1997 to regulate the provision of utility services.
The Commission has become a key actor in Ghana’s energy and water sectors. Its goal is to improve the utility of corporate, governance, accountability, and transparency with the ultimate outcome of improved efficiency in service delivery among utility companies.
The anniversary is on the theme “Celebrating 25 years of Utility Regulation in Ghana’’.