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General News Sun, 21 May 2017

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US Embassy ‘painting ECG black’ to hasten privatization – PPP

The US Embassy‘s claim that the Electricity Company of Ghana is inefficient in the processing and collection of bills is merely to hasten the process for the concessionary sale of the ECG to an entity the Embassy has an interest in.

This is the belief of the Director of Operations of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Nana Ofori Owusu.

According to him, the Embassy’s keen interest in the Compact II agreement has caused it to assume a position of smearing ECG and its workers to cause public and government dissatisfaction with them.

The US ambassador to Ghana, Robert Jackson last week said that the failure of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to furnish the Embassy with a bill for the past two years in spite of its willingness to pay, demonstrates the inefficiencies in the operations of the company.

His comment was to confirm an earlier statement by the Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko that the ECG was being badly managed to the extent that the Embassy had not been provided with a bill for its power usage over the last 2 years.

“American Embassy has 160 facilities in Ghana. They have not been billed for two years. So they went to ECG and said ‘look, we owe you money. Bring us a bill. Bring us pre-paid meters. We will use it for one year, and whenever we use, we will multiply it by 3 and give it to you. Up to now, the ECG hasn’t been able to do that,” Mr. Agyarko said.

But the Public Utilities Workers’ Union (PUWU) in a response to Mr. Agyarko challenged his statement and told him to stay away from such “minor” issues and focus on providing strategic directions for the company.

The brouhaha many say, may be linked to the controversies surrounding the Millennium Power Compact II agreement government signed with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), an independent United States government agency that has as part of the terms, government giving the ECG on concession to a private company.

But according to Mr. Ofori Owusu, that is indeed the case.

He told Umaru Sanda Amadu on The Big Issue that “the US ambassador’s statement all of the sudden at a time when there is a heavy discussion on the Compact and that it must be reviewed and renegotiated all of the sudden comes to fire negative fire against the ECG for what reason. What is his motive? Painting the dog black so that it can be hanged.”

He also accused the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government supporting the US government to hand the company out to a private company when government could resort to a more challenging option to proving strategic direction for the company to make it profitable.

Meanwhile, May 23 has been set for the bidder’s conference to announce the private entity taking over part of the.

The six firms or concessionaires shortlisted are:

1. MANILA ELECTRIC COMPANY ORTIGAS AVENUE, PASIG CITY 0300 PHILIPPINES

2. CH GROUP/ EDF SA/LMI HOLDINGS/VEOLIA SA, 1 ALEMA STREET, AIRPORT RESIDENTIAL AREA, P. O. BOX AN 8743, ACCRA-GHANA

3. ENGIE ENERGIE SERVICES, SA, PLACE DES DEGRES 92800, PUTEAUX, FRANCE

4. BXC COMPANY GHANA LTD/ XIAOCHENG TECHNOLOGY STOCK COMPANY LIMITED /SHAANXI REGIONAL ELECTRIC POWER GROUP COMPANY LIMITED, P.O. BOX CT 8365, CANTONMENTS, OKODAN ROAD, ACCRA-GHANA

5. ENEL S.P.A VIALE REGINA MARGHERITA 137, 00198 ROME, ITALY

6. THE TATA POWER COMPANY LIMITED/CDC GROUP PLC, CORPORATE CENTRE “A” BLOCK, FOURTH FLOOR, 34 SANT TUKARAM ROAD CARNAC BUNDER MUMBAI -400 009 INDIA

Source: citifmonline.com

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