Business News Thu, 13 Jul 2017

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ECG privatization might create redundancies – Group insists

The Coalition of ECG Concession Arrangement (COSECA), is calling for further negotiations on government’s decision to partly privatize the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).

The proposed deal will see the ECG being ceded to a private investor for some 20 years.

But speaking on Eyewitness News, the Convener of the Group, Richard Nyamah, argued that the move if not carefully negotiated, will lead to “redundancies” within ECG.

“We want further negotiations and we want the Minister to address the letter we have sent…If we are able to solve this venture thing I think we will jump the hurdles because we do not think as a country we have money to pay redundancies in ECG …,” Mr. Nyamah said when queried on implications of the said deal.

As part of his suggestions, Mr. Nyamah further advised government to allow the ECG enter into a “joint venture” with the private investor to address the likely challenges the deal might create.

“Concessionary means a new company taking over and we are saying that to go around this redundancy that we don’t have money for, let us find a way of introducing ECG into the whole process. Let them enter into a joint term venture.”

Mr. Nyamah’s comments follow the Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko’s criticism of the group’s threats to head to court over the intended arrangements. COSECA has been reiterating the stance of the Public Utilities Workers’ Union (PUWU) calling on the government to review the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) compact.

The government has suggested it is not ready to review the deal as it believes it has addressed all the concerns of the workers.

Among the concerns was the probability of mass layoffs, but the government has given assurances that no worker will be laid off involuntarily.

The General Secretary of PUWU, Michael Adumata Nyantakye, despite government’s assurance, had said at a forum with COSECA on Tuesday that the Union had initiated steps to take legal action against the concession process.

“We have a very serious objection to the model to the concession which has been proposed. The president said there will be no involuntary staff layoffs, which is good, but we find it inadequate because we have no details about how this is going to work out,” he said.

“We are taking steps with some lawyers to take this process if possible, find out from the court or seek declaration or challenge so that our rights as workers are not trampled upon,” he added.

Source: citifmonline.com

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