Business News of Wednesday, 22 February 2017
National Chairman of the People’s National Convention, Bernard Mornah, has kicked against the government’s decision to list the Volta River Authority and GRIDCo on the Ghana Stock Exchange in a bid to strengthen the country’s power sector.
Delivering his first State of the Nation Address Tuesday, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said the government has begun to develop a national electricity master plan which will also explore the benefits of listing VRA and GRIDCO on the stock exchange.
According to President Akufo-Addo, he inherited a 2.4 billion-dollar debt in the energy sector of which 800 million is owed local banks thus threatening their stability and the financial sector as a whole.
It is against this background that the president said an electricity master plan is being developed, which will see the two institutions to list on the stock exchange.
However, Mr Mornah told 3FM’s Mercydalyne Lokko after the address that he disagrees with the Presiden Akufo-Addo on the move, noting it is not in the interest of the country to privatise the two companies.
“I also disagree with the president largely when the president says that we are going to put VRA and GRIDCo on the Stock Exchange. What it means is that we are going to liquidate our interest in these areas and allow the private sector to take control of this. I do not think that is the way to go,” he told our correspondent.
“Privatisation through the stock exchange or whatever has not helped this economy anyway,” he said.
He argued that there are several examples in the Busia through Rawlings to the Kufouren eras to show that the private sector has not helped the country, especially in the area of the job creation.
“It is important that as we hold the values of being Ghanaians, we must also protect certain institutions that are uniquely Ghanaian,” he advised.
He asked: “Are they [VRA, GRIDCo] suffering already from the heat of the IMF and the World Bank whose stock in trade is to see to it that everything Ghanaian is disposed of. I disagree with the president on that”.
Meanwhile, he lauded the president on his call for Ghanaians to create an alternative for the rain-fed agriculture.
He said the promised one village, one dam policy will be a great idea in that regard, adding it is his expectation that the district chief executives to be appointed will ensure that the dams are created so we have all year sustainable agric for the youth.
He, however, said “It’s not just sufficient to produce and supply, it is important that as we supply we should have demand for it . So while the farmers are on the field producing, the government must also create the avenue for the selling of this product.