The General Secretary of the Public Utility Workers Union (PUWU) has warned that government’s one district, one factory policy would suffer should the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) be a concession.
Michael Adumatta Nyantakyi explained that the private investors who are in to make gains would not continue to play a dual role of revenue generation and social interventions as the ECG does by covering up for less economic viable districts that generate low revenue compared to cost outlay of electricity supply.
This he believes would affect the effective implementation of government’s one district, one factory policy since factories that would be set up in less economic viable districts would be unable to cater for the entire cost outlay of electricity supply in the districts.
Mr Adumatta Michael gave the warning when speaking to the media on the sideline of a meeting of the Senior Staff Union of ECG Division of the Public Utility Workers Union held at Ho in the Volta Region.
Ghana signed the Power Compact with the United States of America acting through the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) in 2014.
The Power Compact which is being implemented by the Government of Ghana through the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) will make available a grant sum of $498,200,000 to be injected into Ghana’s power sector to improve performance in the sector.
About US$350 million of the grant is being invested in ECG to make the country’s power distributor operationally and financially more efficient while the rest of the grant would be used to unravel the country’s economic potential, create jobs, and reduce poverty.
Mr Adumata Nyantakyi reiterated that government must critically reconsider recommendation in the compact and asserted that the solution to the struggles of ECG does not lie in giving out ECG on concession as recommended in the compact.
“Everybody knows the major problem facing ECG, where the company is now struggling is basically an issue of leadership and political interference which if removed, the company [ECG] will be in a better position to manage its revenue in terms of collecting bills that people have consumed”, he explained.
“We are of the view that government should put in place a firm and strong leader, give the leader key performance indicators and allow the leader to work within a specific time frame”, he suggested.
He argued that it is unfair for a private investor to take over ECG in more refurbished form as the company is undertaking a lot of interventions to bring about relevant transformation in its operations “and when we begin to see change, people will attribute it to the private investor.”
He emphasized that arrangements outlined in the concession would only benefit the private investor and increase the woes of Ghanaians where power tariffs would be increased since the private investor would be interested in making profits.
Mr Adamutta expressed optimism that ECG would witness significant transformation and be more efficient in its service delivery if government gives ECG the same support it provides the private operator under the concession arrangement.
He stated that ECG being bedeviled with challenges was as a result of government owing the electricity distribution company huge debt and charged the government to pay monies it owed ECG to enable the power distribution company operate efficiently.