General News of Monday, 5 September 2016
The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) has threatened to arrest the Managing Director of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) if staff fail to restore services to customers.
According to Public Relations Officer of the Commission, Nana Yaa Jantuah, the customers are rather bearing the brunt of their (ECG) agitation over the proposed privatization of ECG.
Workers of power distributor, Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), are continuing their sit down strike Monday to get government to shelve plans to privatise the power company.
The workers last week suspended services for three hours of each working day for three days. Customers who went to offices of the ECG to buy recharge units were left disappointed as offices were closed to them.
Speaking on Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen programme Monday, Ms. Jantuah said ECG risks being sanctioned if the strike persists.
She explained that, the law governing their operations states “The Supplier shall ensure that facilities for the purchase of units for prepayment meters are available at all its customer service centers between the hours of 8.00am to 5.00pm each working day”, therefore, denying customers the opportunity to buy recharge unites amounts to an illegality.
“Consumers are queuing at private vending points who have a quota and will be running out of credit. What is ECG doing to address the situation?” she quizzed.
The PURC PRO was convinced ECG workers have lost public support in their campaign to get government to rescind its decision to privatize the power distribution company.
“Customers are angry due to the strike and they are now calling for ECG to be privatized because the private vendors are serving them well” she stated.
She said they have written to the management of ECG to, with immediate effect, restore services to Ghanaians.
Rather than declaring strike, Nana Yaa Jantuah advised ECG staff to negotiate with government for an amicable solution to the problem.
Meanwhile, out of the over 60 companies that expressed interest in the Private Sector Participation in the ECG, the Millennium Development Authority has shortlisted six, out of which one will eventually be selected as the concessionaire.
Two of the companies are consortiums while the remaining four are bidding individually.
Barring any last-minute hitches, ECG should be handed over to a concessionaire in January 2017.