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ECG workers welcome forgery suit against gov’t

Workers of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) have welcomed a suit filed by a member of the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) communications team, Saaka Salia, to stop government from proceeding with the privatization ECG.

Government intends cede the ECG to a concessionaire for 25 years under the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Ghana Power Compact but Mr. Salia in his suit argued that concession license “is a forgery and an act in fraud”. ECG workers have already expressed their displeasure with the concession and embarked on a series of sit-down strikes in protest.

The National Secretary of the Senior Staff Union of the ECG, Patrick Tetteh Binyemi spoke to Citi News and was hopeful the suit by Mr. Salia would draw government’s attention to the shortfalls in the deal.

“We thank God that Ghanaians are beginning to see the wrong deal we have engaged ourselves in,” Mr. Binyemi said, noting that, “when you look at the request for proposals which were sent to the six prospective bidders, so many critical issues were not addressed in that RFP.”

He highlighted one ECG workers’ grievances as being that “the lease payment of usage of ECG distribution assets has not been determined.” “So upon what basis is the concessionaire going to make payment to restructure the ECG after using their assets,” Mr. Binyemi questioned further.

Concession to go ahead despite suit

This suit against government notwithstanding, the Compact, also referred to as Compact II, has entered into force.

A press statement released by the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) explained that by the action, the treaty which was signed on August 5, 2014 between Ghana and the United States of America, represented by the MCC, has become effective and Ghana now has access to the programme funds.

The suit against the government

The plaintiff, Mr. Salia has argued that, MiDA is not fit to participate in concession because its conduct breached Ghana’s laws after it authored and circulated a draft tariff methodology.

Also being sued are the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission, (PURC), the Attorney General’s office and the Energy Commission. Mr. Salia’s writ asserted that, the PURC “is the body with exclusive mandate by law to provide guidelines for determining tariffs and levels of tariffs, and in doing so in the manner prescribed by Act 538.”

He also wants a declaration to the effect that, “the said electricity distribution and sale licence is a forgery and an act in fraud, particularly as its authors and/or circulators used the logo of the Energy Commission without prior knowledge and permission of the Commission.”

Mr. Salia is thus praying the court to declare that “all transactions or processes touching and concerning the said concession arrangement for the ECG using the said tariff methodology document are null and void.”

Source: citifmonline.com

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