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Ivorian opposition doubts Ouattara's promise to end monopoly of utility firms

Ivorian opposition doubts Ouattara's promise to end monopoly of utility firms

Ivory Coast

The opposition Ivorian Popular Front party, of former president Laurent Gbagbo, has cast doubts over president Alassane Ouattara’s recent comments about ending the monopoly of the country’s utility companies.

The party’s General Secretary, Boubacar Kone believes the president’s word were mere political rhetoric.

In a press statement, Kone stressed the fact that the government cannot open the utility sector up for competition since the government’s contract with the current water and electricity providers runs until 2020.

President Ouattara during the May Day celebrations announced he would end the monopoly of the country’s utility service providers to create competition in the sector as well as reduce tariffs.

His comments were in the wake of recent upheavals by Ivorians over astronomical jumps in electricity tariffs.

Some electricity consumers have seen up to a 40 percent increase in their tariffs.

The government had last June decided to roll out a 16 percent increase in electricity tariffs across three years. But the initial roll out this year has created the problems.

But the opposition party insists the government cannot fulfil its promise of liberalizing the utilities sector.

Kone’s statement ended with a call for Ivorians to be on the alert.

News Agencies