General News of 2014-08-04

Morale down in ECG over proposed ‘sale’

Workers of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) across the nation say morale in the company has gone down significantly over the decision to give the company over to private management.

They have said that if the current management is given the same deals and incentives that are being offered to the proposed private sector participants, the ECG would immediately become profitable.

“If government were to pay its debts as well as debts owed on behalf of government by various agencies, we would make profit. If they were to allow automatic tariff adjustments as they have promised the proposed private sector participants, ECG would make even more profit,” the workers have said.

In an interview with this newspaper yesterday, a senior member of staff who was present at a meeting held on July 10, at which the matter of the sale of ECG came up, described a publication in the Daily Searchlight of Monday July 14, titled ‘ECG To Be Sold’, as largely correct.

“What the workers were told at that meeting was that government was contemplating private sector participation in downstream electricity distribution. To the workers, that translates into a suggestion that they are going to sell the company. Obviously people would be worried about jobs and other factors that affect their welfare and the welfare of the company, so they are worried,” the source said.

Since the publication in the Daily Searchlight of July 14, the Minister of Energy, Mr. Armah Kofi Buah, has been out to confirm that indeed government intends to introduce ‘private sector’ participation in the downstream electricity distribution.

Meanwhile, the Ghana Grant And Implementation Agreement between the government of Ghana and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) demonstrate surely that government has committed to hand over the management of all ECG or parts of the company over to private management.

The agreement provides at section © of Annex ‘A’ to the agreement; “Technical assistance to conduct feasibility analysis for a proposed compact program for private sector management in all or part of the country’s distribution networks, including analysis of the distribution sector for both ECG & NEDCO.”

Source: Daily Searchlight
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