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General News of Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Source: Kasapa FM

Energy Minister’s comments indicate NPP wants to sell ECG – PUWU


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The Public Utilities Workers Union says comments by the Minister of Energy, Emmanuel Boakye Agyarko over the state of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) is an indication that the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) wants to sell the state owned utility company.

According to PUWU, they find it very hard to believe when Mr. Agyarko paints a gloomy picture about the ECG when available facts presented to him points to the contrary.

The stance of the Energy Minister, PUWU noted, is to prepare the minds of the public for them to buy into the idea of private sector participation (PSP) in the ECG.

“We are tempted to believe that they (government) want to sell ECG. It is a question of giving the dog a bad name so to hang it and that is exactly what the Minister of Energy is doing. That the company has rotten so much that there is the need to sell it. But such kind of pronouncements will not inure to the benefits of the company or Ghana because at the end of the day, even if you are going ahead with this PSP, you are projecting a very weak Company that will weaken the negotiations with any prospective bidder, and we think that the Minister ought to look at the bigger picture and see how to position ECG to be a Company that can provide value for Ghana and for Ghanaians,” noted the General Secretary to PUWU, Lawyer Michael Adumatta Nyantakyi.

Mr. Nyantakyi made this observation when interacting with Akwasi Nsiah on Kasapa 102.5 FM, Tuesday. He was responding to comments by the Energy Minister that faulty metering system and avoidable employee recklessness is killing the Electricity Company of Ghana.

Mr. Boakye Agyarko, according to a Daily Guide report dated Monday, May 15, 2017, is incensed at the growing debt stock of the ECG which appears to be worsening by the day due to its faulty metering system and avoidable employee recklessness.

Speaking to a group of journalists and officials of Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) after the inauguration of a 7-member ECG PSP Stakeholders’ Committee in Accra, the minister said he was shocked that ECG has GH¢130 million a week in receivable, but only collects GH¢50 million. “What happens to the balance? You look at their inventory and they have 20 years’ supply of spares. You have locked up that money in spares that would be obsolete,” he was quoted as saying by Daily Guide.

But PUWU says the blame should be placed at the doorsteps of the government, arguing that if the government stops its political directives to the ECG, there will be much improvement in the operations of ECG.

“It is strange for the Minister to attribute this accumulation of debt to the reckless acts or behavior of ECG employees. If there is any debt accumulation, then it is the direct action of government for non-payment of MMDA bills, and not any inaction on the part of ECG employees. There have been several instances where efforts to collect amounts owing from MMDAs have been frustrated and sometimes interfered by political pressures, such that even organizations that were disconnected were asked to be reconnected by political authorities.”

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