General News of Monday, 12 September 2016
Strategic Thinkers Network (STRANEK), a research organisation, has endorsed plans to give the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to a concessionaire for 25 years saying the move by the government is timely.
The government of Ghana intends privatising the state power distributor. However, the decision has been met with stiff opposition from workers of ECG who have claimed that the concession will lead to the loss of jobs and high electricity tariffs.
But STRANEK in a statement said it “believes that the concession of ECG will create jobs, ensure that real tariff levels reduce over time for the power sector, introduce efficiencies in the operation of utilities, among others” adding: “Thus, the concession is a good step in the right direction.”
The statement further stated “25 years for the concession per our research will prevent the concessionaire (investor) from increasing tariffs. Rather, the concessionaire will take the time to gain proceeds.”
“In our field of conducting high quality, independent research, we realised that in the ECG concession, ownership remains with Government of Ghana. For that matter, it is not privatisation. Operational control is only going to be transferred to a private sector and it will invest in, operate, and maintain distribution network for a specified period (25years) amid reviews every five years. A major review will not be excluded in year 15 of the concession.
“The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) will continue to set tariffs as set by law per our microscopic research and the concessionaire is required to invest a minimum US$100 million for the first five years. It is for this and a plethora of other reasons we see the concession of ECG as timely, masterly, and a brilliant feat.
“However, as cautioned in our earlier releases, we suggest that Government of Ghana should ensure that the concession will not lead to the Aqua Vitens Rand issue with Ghana Water Company Limited hence a charge for a good negotiation. We are indeed all involved in building our motherland Ghana.”