Business News Tue, 2 May 2017

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PUWU commends government’s review of ECG concession deal

The Public Utility Workers’ Union (PUWU) has praised government’s decision to review the concession arrangement of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), under the Power Compact II arrangement.

The Union said the decision was a “step in the right direction” although it does not necessarily address all the issues they raised in the past about the agreement.

President Akufo-Addo, while delivering his 2017 May Day address, said the government has resolved to keep more than the 20 percent control agreed by the former government, to protect the workers.

Under the agreement, the government is expected to allow about 80 percent private sector control in ECG for the country to benefit from a cash injection of about one billion US dollars over a period of 5 years.

But Nana Akufo-Addo said, “Government has amended the terms of the concession agreement to require that one; Ghanaians own at least 51 percent of the concession. Two, there should be no involuntary layoffs as a result of the concession,” he stressed, adding that, “the term of the concession will be reduced from 25 years to 20 years”

“We believe that these amendments meet the aspiration of Ghanaians in protecting the jobs of workers and ensuring the control and viability of ECG. We are as concerned as the workers that, the reform should not lead to involuntary job losses and we should find a long term solution to the nation’s electricity problem,” he added.

The Public Utility Workers’ Union which has criticized the deal say the review proposed by the government does not address some of their challenges.

The General Secretary of PUWU, Michael Adumatta Nyantakyi in an interview on the Citi Breakfast Show on Tuesday, said, “I wouldn’t say that is what we were expecting as workers of the company, but we think it is a step in the right direction. We have always been pushing that the whole concession arrangement should be reviewed and the President taking that initiative to seek this review, I think we need to acknowledge and applaud him on that aspect.”

How however expressed regret that the President did not consult the various stakeholders before renegotiating the deal.

“This has come to us as strange news because the President during the State of the Nation Address said he was going to organize a dialogue between labour, ECG and MiDA to discuss the details surrounding this concession before any firm position is taken, unfortunately that did not happen…. If that kind of consultation had taken place prior to this announcement and some details provided, I strongly believe that the workers would have been happier,” he said.

Source: citifmonline.com

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