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Ghana Seeks to Avoid Protests Against Utility Tariff Increases

Oct. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Ghana’s government is willing to gradually increase electricity and water tariffs in the future and will discuss rising utility prices with unions to avoid planned protests.

The government will not overturn recent rate increases, Deputy Information Minister Murtala Muhammed Ibrahim said in an interview with Live 91.9 FM today. The Trades Union Congress, which represents 18 labor groups, gave the government on Oct. 9 a 10-day ultimatum to reduce utility prices.

“We want to find a solution to this without demonstrations and strikes,” Ibrahim said. “We understand the concerns of the TUC.”

Inflation in West Africa’s second-largest continent quickened to 11.9 percent in September, the highest this year, because of a record low cedi and rising gasoline prices. Ghana raised electricity prices as much as 78.9 percent and the fee for water as much as 52 percent, the utilities commission said last month.

To contact the reporters on this story: Pauline Bax in Accra at pbax@bloomberg.net; Ekow Dontoh in Accra at edontoh@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net

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