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Business News Thu, 9 Jun 2016

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Privatising ECG will make it stronger – Terkper

Minister of Finance Seth Terkper has assured that government will follow through its plans of allowing private participation in some aspect of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).

According to him the decision is a well thought through one by government and he contends that it will inure to the benefit of the nation.

Workers of ECG had earlier kicked against moves by government to privatize the company and had vowed to resist it. But speaking to journalists after a meeting with ECG workers on Wednesday, Seth Terkpe said government will do what is best for the country. He explained that the move is to ensure that ECG and the Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCo) are in “strong position[s].”

“So it is also about positioning, it’s not just about current issues that are a wider contest. Discussions have been quite fruitful up to this point,” Seth Terkper added.

We’ll protect ECG workers

Following complaints of threat on the lives of ECG workers, the Finance Minister who oversees the Power Ministry said government is putting in place measures to protect the company’s staff. “So we want to take the opportunity to say that any molestation that will occur such, incidents should be reported to the security agencies,” he urge the workers.

Government’s hands are tied

The Minority Spokesperson on Finance in Parliament, Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei, had earlier suggested that government may no longer have a say in the affairs of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).

According to him, government’s seeming rush to privatize the company under a 25 year concessionary agreement is to fulfill the conditions under the Ghana Power Compact II of the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA).

Per the Compact II of the MCA signed by the government in August 2014, the ECG is set to be released to a private company for about 25 years.

Speaking to Citi News, the MP for Old Tafo in the Ashanti Region explained that “it is a condition precedent so even if government didn’t like it, to be able to receive the MCA money, they have to do that.”

“There has been a history of ECG being under concession and that history has not gone well so I don’t know what new evidence has come up to suggest that this new concession will be better than what existed before.”

Source: citifmonline.com

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