Power has been restored to the Accra Sports Stadium after the National Sports Authority (NSA) made a first tranche payment of GHC60,000 of a GHC240,000 debt owed the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).
There was great excitement amongst the staff of the NSA at the stadium on Tuesday when the lights came back on having been disconnected for almost two months.
The NSA have entered into an agreement to make monthly payments towards defraying the outstanding debt after a subsequent payment of GHC48,000 was made last week to the initial GHC12,000 handed the ECG.
The NSA, managers of the four existing national stadia in Accra, Kumasi, Sekondi and Tamale first incurred the debt in 2008 when Ghana hosted the Africa Cup of Nations.
Government had agreed to absorb this debt but had since failed to do so.
The debt kept accruing over a seven-year period up to the tune of GHC240,000, resulting in the decision of ECG to cut power supply to both the Accra and Kumasi stadium until at least part of the debt was settled.
The cut in power supply for the past two months had badly affected the operations of the NSA whose offices are within the stadia.
It also saw the playing surface turn grey as there was no electricity to power sprinklers to water the pitch despite the abundance of water.
The Public Relations Officer of the NSA, Frederica Davies, speaking to the General Telegraph in an exclusive interview, said the Authority is relieved to have reached an agreement with the ECG following the initial payment to have power restored to the facility.
“Everyone here was screaming at the sight of light,” she said.
“It was a massive relief because it has not been easy working without electricity for almost two months.
“We had issues of lowered productivity and all that but we are happy for now that we have secured an agreement to first and foremost have power restored here and then a schedule towards clearing the outstanding amount.
“We have agreed with ECG to have the remaining amount spread monthly to be paid over the next year and this excludes the cost of existing power use.”
The NSA is, however, soliciting for financial support from corporate bodies to augment the internally-generated revenue to defray the debt.
“The debt to clear remains very huge and we need some support,” she added.
“Even though we have come to an agreed term of payment to ECG, we will need some support to help us clear this outstanding amount.”
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