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President John Mahama has assured workers at the Electricity Company of Ghana that none of them will lose their jobs as a result of the intended privatisation of the state power distributor.
“I’ve assured that the Millennium Compact will not lead to any job losses at ECG and I wish to restate that fact that there will be no job losses at ECG because of the Millennium Challenge Compact,” Mr Mahama said when he met leaders of various labour unions including the Ghana Trade Union Congress at the Flagstaff House in Accra on Tuesday.
Workers of ECG have been up in arms against the privatisation move fearing they may lose their jobs. They also argue that ceding part of ECG’s operations and management to a private firm for 25 years under a concession deal will not inure to the country’s benefit.
Meanwhile, an Accra High Court presided over by Justice Afua Novisi Aryene on Tuesday dismissed an interlocutory injunction application filed by a member of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr Saaka Salia, by which he sought to stop the government from going ahead with the privatisation deal.
The court ruled that Mr Salia had no direct interest in the matter, adding that he, as a private individual, will suffer the same consequences as every other citizen, should the deal go through. The court also said Mr Salia lacked the capacity to fight the process in court but was merely abusing the legal process to stall the deal. A cost of GHS5000 was awarded against him.
The governments of Ghana and the United States signed an agreement for the release of the $498,200,000 grant for the improvement of power distribution in the West African country under the second compact of the Millennium Challenge Account.
Under the four-year compact deal, Ghana must cede ECG’s management to a private company.
The compact is the largest U.S. government transaction to date, under Power Africa, and is expected to serve as an anchor for increased American engagement in Ghana.
The Ghana Power Compact programme consists of six major projects each, with a set of activities aimed at contributing to support the transformation of Ghana’s power sector. The six are ECG Financial and Operational Turnaround (EFOT), Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCo) Financial Turnaround Project, Access Project, Regulatory Strengthening and Capacity Building Project, Energy Efficiency and Demand Side Management Project, and the Power Generation and Improvement Project.
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