Last Thursday, my dear friend, I witnessed an episode that I found very interesting. Payment for water bills had since 2019 been nicely computerised in such a way as made it possible to effect payments using the various mobile money platforms.
I obviously latched on to the new payment module and began utilizing it. In November 2019, I received a bill with a total bill of GHS76.00. I effected a payment of GHS100.00. Two days ago, I received a phone call from a lady from the Ghana Water office in Amasaman. She indicated that I was having arrears of GHS160.00 against my name and she was calling to find out my plans to clear that bill. I promised to send effect the payment through mobile money, in order to clear it. Unfortunately, the MTN mobile money platform was faulty on the day, thus disabling my attempt in making the payment. Somehow, I forgot to make the payment thereafter.
This afternoon, while taking a nap, I received another call from the Ghana Water office in Amasaman. They were following up in the same payment. I was excited and angry about the call. I was happy that finally there was a utility that was willing to go every length to recover bills irrespective of the amount involved. On the other hand, here was a citizen who mostly pays his bill far in excess of the bill amount so I could not bring myself to bear on the fact that I was being pursued for a mere GHS160.00. If only the Ghana Water and its sister utilities were to apply that same enthusiasm in pursuing arrears owed them by other citizens, their losses would not be hovering between 40% and 70% (depending on which utility).
Interestingly over this same period, my dear friend, I’ve seen individual water bills that run into thousands of Ghana Cedis but whose bills continue to accumulate simply because they probably live in affluent neighbourhoods or that the bills stand in the name of key institutions.
It is about time, my dear friend, that our State actors played the roles expected of them in ensuring that the ship of State is run in the most effective yet equitable manner.
My dear friend,