Amewu unsure of new ECG owners

Sat, 2 Mar 2019 Source: The Herald

Energy Minister, John Peter Amewu, has expressed uncertainty over the new owners of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), saying the government will waste no time in taking over the operations of the state asset, if the new manager, Power Distribution Services (PDS), fails to meet key performance indicators.

PDS, has taken over the management and operations of the ECG after Meralco consortium, a major shareholder in PDS won a bid to manage the national power distributor.

PDS is expected to improve revenue collection, cut cost, and maintain stable power for two decades while injecting over 500 million dollars into the company.

But The Herald, has repeatedly raised alarm about the scandalous nature of the deal, the profited mindedness of those behind it, including the politicians, middlemen, front men barbershop owners and self-acclaimed businessmen without any track record. They’re only interested in making money at the expense of power consumers.

Some had even admitted to The Herald that, they have no money, but intend using the state asset to secure loans to manage the facility.

In the fate of over 6000 workers of the company is hanging in the balance as they are not sure whether the new owners are going to send them home.

Speaking at a handing over ceremony in Accra, Mr Amewu, stated that the operations of PDS, will closely be monitored to ensure performance delivery.

“If your intervention in the drive is to reduce some of these challenges and make the value of power consumption affordable to the consumers, and make Ghana industrialized as a result of cheaper power productions and make the country an enclave of power distribution in the Sub-Region, then you are worth a private sector participation in the country.”

“The private participation intends to achieve over the concession period is a venture worth embracing. I wish to assure the concessionaire PDS, that I am going to keep my eagle eye on the Key Performance Indicators on the transaction agreement and if for some reasons all those challenges enumerated above; on any single occasion during the period that you are expected to deliver effective services will come and turn the door to the exist or the exist to the door will clearly be an option”, he stressed.

The Electricity Company of Ghana has handed over operations of the company to Power Distribution Services (PDS).

By this, PDS will be the new owners and directors of the company.

The scheduled takeover which was to have occurred on 1st February was postponed by the Millennium Development Authority (MIDA) due to certain lapses that needed to be clarified to ascertain a smooth handing over of the company.

PDS is expected to turnaround the operations of ECG to make it profitable.

In addition, the new management will improve access to electricity while cutting down on waste in the system to block all leakages that drain the financials of ECG.

One major huddle that PDS will have to overcome is how to clear all debts owed ECG by the government through its state agencies and departments, as well as Ministries.

The journey to get a private sector player to manage the affairs of the ECG started after Ghana won the power compact two which is expected to inject some 900 million dollars into the ECG.

Ghana signed the Power Compact with the United States of America acting through the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), an independent United States government agency, on the sidelines of the US Africa Leaders’ Summit in Washington DC on August 5, 2014

Under the Power Compact, six projects are being implemented to address the root causes of the unavailability and unreliability of power in Ghana.

The project includes 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: The Herald
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