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General News Thu, 22 Sep 2016

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Chief of Staff denies ordering cessation of ECG ‘privatisation’

The Chief of Staff, Julius Debrah, has rejected reports suggesting he directed negotiations between the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) and some state agencies for the ceding of the management of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to a private company to cease.

According to him, such media reports were false and he called on the public to disregard the information.

“I wish to state here categorically that I have been in the upper west for the past the three days and I have not issued any statement,” the Chief of Staff said to the Media.

Mr. Debrah also defended the ceding of ECG to a private partner which has been met with backlash from staff of the ECG.

The Public Utilities Workers Union (PUWU) had argued that the ceding will impact negatively on the ECG and result in lay-offs.

PUWU followed the concerns with strikes in protest against the compact, calling on government to review the compact which seeks to cede ECG to private investors for a period of 25 years.

But Mr. Debrah has responded to concerns saying, “government has not said that it is privatizing ECG. What government has been talking about is a way of reforming by signing up to the compact. In the long run, the objective is to improve on the performance of ECG.”

About the Compact

Ghana and the United States have signed an agreement for the release of the $498,200,000 grant meant to improve power distribution in the country under the second compact of the Millennium Challenge Account.

Under this compact, which will last for five years, Ghana has agreed to give up the management of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), for a private company in the hope of bringing efficiency in ECG’s operations.

This compact is the largest U.S. Government transaction to date, under Power Africa, and is expected to serve as an anchor for increased American engagement in Ghana.

The Ghana Power Compact programme consists of 6 major projects each, with a set of activities aimed at contributing to support the transformation of Ghana’s power sector.

These six projects are ECG Financial and Operational Turnaround (EFOT) Project, Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCo) Financial Turnaround Project, Access Project, Regulatory Strengthening and Capacity Building project, Energy Efficiency and Demand Side Management Project, and the Power Generation and Improvement Project.

Source: citifmonline.com

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