Budget 2017: We’re against ECG privatisation – Staff

Staff of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) have re-echoed their opposition to the privatisation of the company.

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, announced Thursday that the Ghana Compact II programmme has officially come into force.

“Both parties to the Compact, the Governments of Ghana and United States of America, are committed to complying with their obligations.

“However, the implementation of Ghana’s commitments has faced some challenges due to disagreements between stakeholders, particularly between labour, ECG and the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA),” said Mr. Ofori-Atta when he presented the government’s maiden budget statement.

Workers of ECG are against moves by government to privatise the energy distribution company, fearing they may lose their jobs. They also argue that ceding part of ECG’s operations and management to a private firm for 25 years under a concession deal will not inure to the country’s benefit.

The National Secretary of ECG Senior Staff Union, Patrick Binyame said staff of the ECG are not against the Compact II  programme, but the private sector involvement in the operation of the company.

“We as ECG Staff are not against the Compact II. What we are against is the private sector participation in ECG and the modalities that we are not comfortable with,” he stated on Morning Starr.

He added: “We are first Ghanaians before we became staff of ECG and we realised that there are some mistakes that were made and we think that it is appropriate for us to correct those mistakes before we proceed.”

The governments of Ghana and the United States signed an agreement for the release of the $498,200 grant for the improvement of power distribution in the West African country under the second compact of the Millennium Challenge Account.

Under the four-year compact deal, Ghana must cede ECG’s management to a private company.

The compact is the largest U.S. government transaction to date, under Power Africa, and is expected to serve as an anchor for increased American engagement in Ghana.

The Ghana Power Compact programme consists of six major projects each, with a set of activities aimed at contributing to support the transformation of Ghana’s power sector.

The six are ECG Financial and Operational Turnaround (EFOT), Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCo) Financial Turnaround Project, Access Project, Regulatory Strengthening and Capacity Building Project, Energy Efficiency and Demand Side Management Project, and the Power Generation and Improvement Project

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