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COVID-19: PAC orders government to pay for free water debt.

The Chairman of the Oyibi Area Water and Sanitation Scheme in Accra has appealed to the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament to impress upon the government to pay up more than GH₵300,000 owed to the scheme.

Samuel Joe Appiah Danquah said the sheme was one of the numerous companies contracted by the government to supply free water to the public during the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, he said post-pandemic, the government has refused to pay its debt, which is crippling their business.

He made this appeal when he appeared before the Public Accounts Committee on February 5.

Mr Danquah said “I want to beg you, beg your people to help us to solve the small problem we are encountering at Oyibi Area Water.

“We were one of the schemes that were asked to give free water during the COVID and GH₵300,000 plus as I speak has not been paid and we are struggling, so we need our money.”

Deputy Sanitation and Water Resources Minister, Amidu Issahaku Chinnia who was also present at the committee hearing said he was not aware of the Finance Ministry releasing funds to clear the debt.

However, he promised to look into the matter and carry out the appropriate action.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, Dr James Klutse Avedzi, recommended that the debts be cleared by the Ministry immediately.

In 2020, the government said it spent GH₵1 billion to provide free electricity to lifeline consumers and absorb a substantial 50% of all electricity bills for residential and commercial customers.

Again, in 2021, the government introduced the COVID-19 Health Levy, which was expected to cover health expenditures, including the cost of free water offered to Ghanaians during the pandemic.

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