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General News of Friday, 22 July 2016

Source: Daily Guide

Mahama ‘sitting on’ dumsor timetable – ECG workers

President John Dramani Mahama President John Dramani Mahama

Workers of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) have disclosed that they intend to introduce a new load shedding timetable to enable consumers to plan their activities to efficiently use power, but President John Mahama has asked the power distribution company not to publish it.

“The timetable for the current load shedding also called ‘dumsor,’ is ready but the president says we should not publish it,” they indicated.

The ECG workers have therefore expressed grief over the government’s refusal to declare dumsor and allow the ECG to come out with the load shedding time table.

In an exclusive interview with DAILY GUIDE, Samuel Tetteh Agbetor, chairman of the Western Regional Workers’ Union of ECG, insisted, “Dumsor is back, and government should be bold enough to allow ECG to announce the timetable for load shedding.

“Ghanaians can testify to the fact that lights go off for 24 hours and come on for 12 hours and so the president cannot sit in his comfort zone and say there is no load shedding.”

Mr. Agbetor pointed out that the current situation is alarming as most businesses are collapsing and many workers being laid off because of the energy problem.

He was not happy that the energy crisis has been blamed on ECG, adding that the sector consists of three segments – generation, transmission and distribution. “I work at the distribution sector which is ECG,” Mr. Agbetor underscored.

He mentioned that the public vents their spleen on ECG workers whenever there is energy crisis because they pay tariffs directly to the power distribution company.

“We have served our customers with commitment and dedication all these years, and whenever there are challenges we come out to publish a timetable to enable people to plan their businesses,” he stated.

According to him, left to the workers of ECG alone, the timetable would have been published but could not fathom why the government is preventing the company from publishing it.

Mr Agbetor told DAILY GUIDE that the current energy problem has to do with generation by the Volta River Authority adding, “And so we the staff of ECG will not sit down to be blamed or allow anyone to put our lives in jeopardy.”

ECG Privatization

The Regional Union chairman noted that the government’s reason for the proposed sale of ECG to an American company that the power distribution company is inefficient and could not collect its bills is false.

“If we have enough generation capacity, we would not have transmission and distribution problem, and so ECG can’t be blamed,” he pointed out.

He asserted that the sale of ECG is part of the conditions of the Millennium Challenge Account, which is a development assistance programme from the United States of America.

“If President Mahama says he is not incompetent, why can’t he manage ECG but has decided to sell it? After Ghana Water Company was given to Aqua Vitens Rand to manage, the company has not been able to achieve much,” he indicated.

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