Tariff reduction is proof ECG does not need private sector participation – Dr Manteaw
Campaign Coordinator for Integrated Social Development Center (ISODEC), Dr Steve Manteaw, believes the ongoing process to cede part of ECG’s operations to private hands is influenced by corruption.
According to him, government’s officials prefer privatisation of public assets to floating shares on the stock exchange because of their desire to manipulate the deal.
“Privatization bleeds corruption and that’s what the politicians prefer because of their interests; as stated by a former Member of Parliament for the Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa, PC Appiah Ofori, each MP received $5000 as bribe before the House considered the privatisation of the Ghana Telecom to Vodafone deal,”Dr Manteaw stated.
“Political interference is affecting ECG operations not the Ghanaian managers as has been portrayed in the minds of Ghanaians” he added.
Speaking on Adom FM’s Burning Issues hosted by Afia Pokua, following the announcement of a 10 to 30 percent reduction in prices of electricity from March 15, he suggested that the tariff reduction is proof that there is no need for the involvement of the private sector in the operations of the power distributor.
The Campaign Coordinator for ISODEC, a policy research institution, believes Ghanaians are capable of managing state assets, stating that the takeover of companies like the Ghana Water Company and Ghana Airways resulted in the abysmal performance of the companies.
“Do you know why they don’t like to list the company on the stock exchange and prefer privatisation? It’s because they won’t get bribe from the individual shareholders [if state companies were listed on the stock market],” he stressed.
Commenting on the tariff reduction by the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC), Dr Manteaw said the reduction will bring a big relief to Ghanaians, adding that government should be more transparent by ensuring that Ghanaians know how it is mobilising revenue through the Energy Sector Levy to clear the outstanding the debt in the sector.
He is confident Ghanaian business will be competitive on the global market as a result of the reduction in electricity tariff.
A statement issued on Monday and signed by the Executive Secretary of PURC, Mami Dufie Ofori, said the tariff reductions are based on the PURC’s Gazetted 2015 tariffs and are only based on energy charges.
Per the statement, residential customers will now enjoy 17.5% reduction, whilst non-residential customers will enjoy 30% reduction. The mines are also entitled to 10% reduction, with special load tariff customers also enjoying 25% reduction.
Some six concessionaires have engaged the government to take over the operations of the Electricity Company of Ghana.
The concessionaires include Manila Electric Company from the Philippines, CH Group from Ghana,/ EDF SA/LMI Holdings/Veolia SA, BXC Company Ghana Ltd, and Xiaocheng Technology Stock Company Limited from China.
The rest are Shaanxi Regional Electric Power Group Company Limited from China, the Tata Power Company Limited from India and CDC Group Plc from UK.