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Ghana should be fighting against ECG concession - Steve Manteaw

A member of the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC), Dr. Steve Manteaw, is against attempts to improve the $498 million Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Compact II between Ghana the US.

He believes the country should completely reject the MCC Compact II, which will see the concession of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), to the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA).

In Dr. Manteaw’s view, “the credibility of the whole concession arrangement has been shattered completely” insisting that “we should be rejecting it outright.”

He further expressed discomfort at “attempts to try to repair that damage by making recommendations as to why or how it can be improved.”

Under the power compact, six projects will be implemented to address the root causes of the unavailability and unreliability of power in Ghana, in a bid to make the ECG more efficient.

But Dr. Manteaw punched holes in such a mandate noting that, one of ECG’s main problem was that it has not been able to invest in its operations largely because of government’s huge indebtedness to it.

The ECG is also deemed to be inefficient because of factors like obsolete equipment, he added, and thus drew a link between these two points noting that “if government does not pay what it owes ECG, how on earth can ECG invest in its operations?”

In Dr. Manteaw’s view, Ghana is perfectly capable of managing its own affairs, and noted that, similar concessionary endeavors in the past, had not turned out well.

“This is no different from the Aqua Vitens Rand contract which was a management contract, but bore the hallmarks of a concession, and we warned that it would not succeed and it did not. Luckily for us, it was limited to only five years so we had the opportunity to cut our losses and get out of that bad deal… Today, Ghana Water is in the hands of Ghanaians and at the ‘Kufuor gallons’ which became the order of the day have vanished.”

The Compact II agreement

Ghana and the Millennium Challenge Corporation of the US government signed the second Compact in October 2016.

The agreement brought to total $1.4 billion received by the government to be injected into the country’s energy sector geared towards making the ECG more efficient.

The project under the compact includes the ECG Financial and Operational Turnaround Project, NEDCo Financial and Operational Turnaround Project, Regulatory Strengthening and Capacity Building Project, and Access Project.

The rest are Power Generation Sector Improvement Project and Energy Efficiency, and Demand Side Management Project.

Source: citifmonline.com

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