The Managing Director of the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL), Dr Clifford Braimah, has explained that the company was not set up to make profit, but rather ensure quality water service delivery to the citizenry of the country.
Dr Braimah’s explanation comes in the wake of the release of a report that named GWCL as topping the list of non-performing State Owned Enterprises with a loss of GH₵938 million in the 2020 fiscal year.
GWCL, together with the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) and Ghana Airports Company Limited posted a loss of over GH₵1.5 billion in the 2020 fiscal year.
Speaking in an interview on Joy FM yesterday, Dr Braimah stated: “Let’s set the parameters right. Was GWCL set up to make profit? The benefit of this country during COVID-19 was credited to water supply. The lack of cholera over the period has been credited to water supply.
“These are social benefits. If you want to talk about profitability in its true sense, these are factors that you have to also consider, and that is why a public utility company like water, nobody sets it up for profitability,” he pointed out.
Economies of scale
He said some of the companies are not profitable because of economies of scale, adding that “GWCL does not determine the locations of the water facilities; it is the decision of the government”.
According to him, if GWCL was supposed to determine where it should put the infrastructure and supposed to determine by profitability, it would have areas to invest in and areas not to invest.
He noted that GWCL is operating with the limited resources to ensure that it is efficient, and can deliver water to consumers at the appropriate time and quality.
The GWCL Managing Director also emphasised that the water company’s “plan is to ensure that it will still be in existence to serve future generations, hence the need to take care of the issues at hand.”
“…GWCL is using its operational money to invest in the capital expenditure to bring four brand new pumps here. If you go to Sekyere, because of the galamsey, three of our brand new pumps, instead of drawing water, drew silt, so they crashed and we had to go and buy them with Euros,” he stated.
Dr Braimah further indicated that the commodity’s prices cannot be determined by the company, so any increases, fluctuations, or depreciation of the cedi cannot be passed on to the consumer, resulting in losses for the company.
“GWCL is not making any profit because it is taking care of issues that should have been taken care of 50 years ago,” he reiterated.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Cecilia Abena Dapaah, has announced that the Ghana Water Company will soon embark on a house-to-house audit to reduce losses and improve the supply of water. While addressing the press on Monday in Accra, Mrs Dapaah said her outfit would ensure that all persons found culpable face the law.