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Business News of Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Source: Graphic.com.gh

ECG MD addresses workers concerns on PDS concessionaire

The Managing Director of Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), Mr Samuel Boakye-Appiah has been addressing concerns of ECG staff on their conditions of service following the concessionaire agreement with the Power Distribution Services (PDS) Limited.

Some ECG staff since PDS came on board March 1, 2019, have been murmuring about how they were not sure about where their salaries were going to come from.

Others have concluded that they were not sure whether those who have remained at ECG and have not been transferred to PDS would become civil servants.

But using the opportunity of the May Day celebration at the head office of ECG to explain the change, Mr Boakye-Appiah said it is only “ECG’s technical and commercial operations that have been transferred to the Power Distribution Services (PDS) Limited."

“ECG is still in existence as a bulk energy trader, asset owner and a provider of training and consultancy services," he said and clarified that the two entities are separate and that, PDS is the concessionaire and ECG is the asset owner.

“ECG has not been sold, ECG is continuing as a growing concern with a new focus of a bulk energy trader, and then monitoring the performance of the concessionaire and the use of the assets that have been handed over to the concessionaire,” he added.

“Those of us in ECG, and if you have observed, I have never used the word restructured ECG because we must maintained the identity of ECG going forward.”

“I have heard your frustrations, I ‘dey’ ground. Those of you who are in the regions, you do monitoring, [and] some of you have regretted…, People say they go to the office and they don’t know what they are doing.”

“I want to be very frank, those of you in the regions… Please, I want to assure you, it won’t be long when you will get too busy… Assuming that you are in concession monitoring operations and you are in the Western Region and the whole of Western Region is under you, looking at PDS maintenance, projects, you will not just be the supervisor but seeing what is happening, attending to all the utility issues, the reports that we have to prepare and issues and sit in meetings and all that, it is going to be a lot of work. Just that we are taking time to put everything together.”

“So please, bear with us, tomorrow, we have planned a series of activities towards finalising our business model and our plans and all that.

“Tomorrow there is a big meeting at Alisa Hotel, among the managers and directors to review our business plan.

“As a first step, we are prepared to develop business plans for all the directorates…, the alignment with business plans and all that.

The MD said to thunderous applause from the workers, “I want to assure you that, your future with ECG is very bright.”

Adding, he said, “Before the transfer, somebody walked to my office” and wanted to know whether those of us left at ECG will belong to a subvented organisation, to the extent that “we don’t even know where our salaries will come from.“

“Anyway I have been in Ghana all these years and there has not been any month that I have heard that the people at the Ministry of Energy or Ministry of Finance have not received their salaries, so assuming that without even admitting that we are going to be a subvented organisation, I’m sure that we would be paid.”

He said when management went round to “tell you people about PDS entry into our operations, we mentioned to you that everybody was being transferred on the same conditions of service as they were enjoying in ECG, so how can people with PDS go on conditions that they are enjoying in ECG and then those that are left with ECG, will be enjoying conditions in the civil service, does it make sense?”

“So why do you believe such things. I’m saying this because I’m sure some of you still are believing in that. Please, everybody is going to continue to enjoy the conditions that they were enjoying in ECG as the minimum.

"We are yet to enter into negotiations, [Collective Bargaining Agreement], both PDS and ECG, we are all in transition, when we settle, we will go to the board with proposals for negotiations and all that, but just to assure you that, you are in ECG on the same conditions of service as you were enjoying before.

Mr Boakye-Appiah said it was always normal for speculations to thrive when there is a transition and some of the stories are peddled by ECG's own workers.